Identifying Epitopes of HIV-1 That Induce Protective Antibodies

Nat Rev Immunol. 2004 Mar;4(3):199-210. doi: 10.1038/nri1307.


During the past 20 years, the pendulum of opinion in the HIV-1 vaccine field has swung between two extremes, initially favouring the induction of antibodies only, and subsequently favouring the induction of cell-mediated immune responses only. At present, the consensus seems to be that induction of both humoral and cellular immunity by an HIV-1 vaccine will be required to achieve maximum protection. One obstacle to the development of an effective HIV-1 vaccine has been the difficulty in inducing broadly reactive, potent antibodies with protective functions. Defining epitopes and designing immunogens that will induce these antibodies is one of the main challenges that now confronts the HIV-1 vaccine field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Vaccines / immunology
  • CD4 Antigens / immunology
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • HIV Antibodies / immunology*
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / immunology
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp41 / immunology
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans


  • AIDS Vaccines
  • CD4 Antigens
  • Epitopes
  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp41