Magnitude and breadth of a nonprotective neutralizing antibody response in an efficacy trial of a candidate HIV-1 gp120 vaccine.
BACKGROUND: A candidate vaccine consisting of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subunit gp120 protein was found previously to be nonprotective in an efficacy trial (Vax004) despite strong antibody responses against the vaccine antigens. Here we assessed the magnitude and breadth of neutralizing antibody responses in Vax004. METHODS: Neutralizing antibodies were measured against highly sensitive (tier 1) and moderately sensitive (tier 2) strains of HIV-1 subtype B in 2 independent assays. Vaccine recipients were stratified by sex, race, and high versus low behavioral risk of HIV-1 acquisition. RESULTS: Most vaccine recipients mounted potent neutralizing antibody responses against HIV-1(MN) and other tier 1 viruses. Occasional weak neutralizing activity was detected against tier 2 viruses. The response against tier 1 and tier 2 viruses was significantly stronger in women than in men. Race and behavioral risk of HIV-1 acquisition had no significant effect on the response. Prior vaccination had little effect on the neutralizing antibody response that arose after infection. CONCLUSIONS: Weak overall neutralizing antibody responses against tier 2 viruses is consistent with a lack of protection in this trial. The magnitude and breadth of neutralization reported here should be useful for identifying improved vaccines.
Gilbert, P; Wang, M; Wrin, T; Petropoulos, C; Gurwith, M; Sinangil, F; D'Souza, P; Rodriguez-Chavez, IR; DeCamp, A; Giganti, M; Berman, PW; Self, SG; Montefiori, DC
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