Survivors Remorse: antibody-mediated protection against HIV-1

George K. Lewis*, Marzena Pazgier, Anthony L. DeVico

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


It is clear that antibodies can play a pivotal role in preventing the transmission of HIV-1 and large efforts to identify an effective antibody-based vaccine to quell the epidemic. Shortly after HIV-1 was discovered as the cause of AIDS, the search for epitopes recognized by neutralizing antibodies became the driving strategy for an antibody-based vaccine. Neutralization escape variants were discovered shortly thereafter, and, after almost three decades of investigation, it is now known that autologous neutralizing antibody responses and their selection of neutralization resistant HIV-1 variants can lead to broadly neutralizing antibodies in some infected individuals. This observation drives an intensive effort to identify a vaccine to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies. In contrast, there has been less systematic study of antibody specificities that must rely mainly or exclusively on other protective mechanisms, although non-human primate (NHP) studies as well as the RV144 vaccine trial indicate that non-neutralizing antibodies can contribute to protection. Here we propose a novel strategy to identify new epitope targets recognized by these antibodies for which viral escape is unlikely or impossible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-284
Number of pages14
JournalImmunological Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS vaccine
  • HIV-1
  • neutralizing antibodies
  • non-neutralizing antibodies


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