Correlates of protection, antigen delivery and molecular epidemiology: basics for designing an HIV vaccine
Wagner R, Shao Y, Wolf H
Vaccine 1999 Mar 26;17(13-14):1706-10
Major obstacles in the development of HIV vaccines are the high variability of the virus and its complex interaction with the immune system. Recent studies demonstrated, that CTLs recognizing highly conserved epitopes in the group-specific antigen are capable of controlling HIV-replication in long-term nonprogressors. Necessary consequences for novel vaccine concepts are the presentation of a large repertoire of antigenic sites as well as the stimulation of different effectors of the immune system. Accordingly, different types of recombinant HIV-1 virus-like particles (VLPs) have been constructed stimulating the induction of neutralizing antibodies and HIV-specific CD8-positive CTL responses in preclinical studies. With respect to future vaccine trials, HIV vaccine formulations may need to be tailored to the local strains circulating within a geographical region. The expert group of the joint United Nations Programme on AIDS recently identified Yunnan, a southwestern province of China, as a region, in which the HIV epidemic is starting to gain speed, resembling to the situation in Thailand 10 years ago. A molecular clone of a representative virus strain is now available for the development of innovative antigen delivery systems aiming to be evaluated in future clinical vaccine trials throughout this area.