A critical property of a prophylactic HIV vaccine is likely to be its ability to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs). BnAbs typically have multiple unusual features and are generated in a fraction of HIV-infected individuals through complex pathways. Current vaccine design approaches seek to trigger rare B cell precursors and then steer affinity maturation toward bnAbs in a multi-stage multi-component immunization approach. These vaccine design strategies have been facilitated by molecular descriptions of bnAb interactions with stabilized HIV trimers, the use of an array of sophisticated approaches for immunogen design, the development of novel animal models for immunogen evaluation and advanced technologies to interrogate antibody responses. In this review, we will discuss leading HIV bnAb vaccine immunogens, immunization strategies and future improvements.
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