Mapping polyclonal antibody responses in non-human primates vaccinated with HIV Env trimer subunit vaccines
Robert N. Kirchdoerfer,
Leigh M. Sewall,
Hannah L Turner,
Dennis R. Burton,
Posted 07 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/833715 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.02.061)
Posted 07 Nov 2019
Rational immunogen design aims to focus antibody responses to vulnerable sites on the primary antigens. Given the size of these antigens there is however potential for eliciting unwanted, off-target responses. Here, we used our electron microscopy polyclonal epitope mapping approach to describe the antibody specificities elicited by immunization of non-human primates with soluble HIV envelope trimers and subsequent repeated viral challenge. An increased diversity of epitopes recognized, and the approach angle by which these antibodies bound, constituted a hallmark of the humoral response in most protected animals. We also show that fusion peptide-specific antibodies are responsible for some neutralization breadth. Moreover, cryoEM analysis of a fully-protected animal revealed a high degree of clonality within a subset of putatively neutralizing antibodies, enabling a detailed molecular description of the antibody paratope. Our results provide important insights into the immune response against a vaccine candidate that entered into clinical trials earlier this year.
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