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Identification and Analysis of HIV-specific Naive B cells in HIV-Unexposed Individuals for Candidate Vaccine Antigens

The traditional vaccine development process has focused upon designing the pathogen component of the vaccine. This meant either developing ways to weaken or inactivate the pathogen, or developing a process to produce an immunogenic subunit of the pathogen. While these approaches have been incredibly successful for some pathogens, protective vaccines for many infections remain elusive. Recent, evidence suggests that one reason that previous HIV-1 vaccines many have failed is that the HIV-1 antigen included in these vaccines did not stimulate naïve B cells that express antibodies with the ability to protect against HIV-1. If true, this means that vaccine failure could have been predicted if researchers had been able to assess the repertoire of naïve B cells able to bind to the candidate HIV-1 vaccine immunogen prior to vaccination. In light of this, we have begun to utilize our rare antigen-specific enrichment approaches to isolate B cells able to bind to candidate vaccine antigens. These enrichments allow for a robust analysis of the binding abilities of the antibodies expressed by these antigen-specific B cells as well as the phenotype and function of the cells themselves.

Active Dates 
07/01/2016 to 06/30/2021
Faculty Involved 
Health Topics