The broadly neutralizing antibody 2G12 binds a fairly conserved cluster of oligomannose sugars on the HIV surface glycoprotein gp120, which has led to the hypothesis that these sugars pose potential vaccine targets. Here, we present the chemical analysis, antigenicity, and immunogenicity of a bacterial lipooligosaccharide (LOS) comprised of a manno-oligosaccharide sequence analogous to the 2G12 epitope. Antigenic similarity of the LOS to oligomannose was evidenced by 2G12 binding to the LOS and the inability of sera elicited against synthetic oligomannosides, but incapable of binding natural oligomannose, to bind the LOS. Immunization with heat-killed bacteria yielded epitope-specific serum antibodies with the capacity to bind soluble gp120. Although these sera did not exhibit specific anti-HIV activity, our data suggest that this LOS may find utility as a template for the design of glycoconjugates to target HIV.
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