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Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and HIV env variants conferring vaccine escape

Determining amino acid variations in HIV strains that escape neutralizing antibodies could help guide vaccine design. In rhesus macaques immunized with DNA encoding SIVMac239 env, DNA sequencing of viruses that bypassed the protective effect of the vaccine revealed common single amino acid variations that conferred resistance to immunization-elicited antibodies. In a collection of 51 HIV-1 viruses, a fraction of neutralization-resistant viruses exhibited amino acid variation corresponding to that seen in neutralization-resistant SIV strains, suggesting a conserved escape mechanism. Next steps could include analyzing HIV sequences from HIV vaccine trials to determine additional vaccine-specific repertoires of resistance-conferring mutations and using the data to design new vaccines.

SciBX 7(4); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.130
Published online Jan. 30, 2014

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Roederer, M. et al. Nature; published online Dec. 18, 2013;
Contact: Mario Roederer, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.