Affiliation: National Engineering Laboratory of AIDS Vaccine, School of Life Sciences, Jilin University, 2699 Qianjin Street, Changchun, 130021, China.
Eliciting efficient broadly neutralizing antibodies (BnAbs) is an important goal that has yet to be achieved for human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine development, although they are rarely produced in virus-infected individuals. In particular, inducing specific neutralizing antibodies to the gp41 membrane proximal external region (MPER) has proven a difficult task. In this study, we introduce Norovirus P particles as a new platform to display the MPER epitope of HIV-1 as a vaccine with the aim of enhancing immune responses. The results showed that HIV-1 chimeric P particles were capable of inducing MPER-specific antibody responses in immunized guinea pigs, although only weakly neutralizing activity could be detected. These findings are consistent with other previous studies which have also focused on the well-studied 2F5 and 4E10 BnAbs. Our findings provide an alternate strategy for design of vaccines against HIV-1. However, great challenges remain in the effort to develop vaccines that can induce efficient HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies.