Purpose of review: Recent work defining Fc-mediated effector functions for both viral control and protection against infection is summarized and considered along with new strategies to drive robust Fc-mediated responses.
Recent findings: In new human and nonhuman primate (NHP) vaccine trials as well as studies of natural infection, Fc-mediated effector responses have sometimes been observed to correlate with decreased risk of infection or with better clinical outcomes, suggesting a potential role for these responses in HIV-1 prevention and therapy. Recent highlights include use of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity-sensitizing CD4-induced mimetic compounds, novel V1V2 immunogens, passive transfer studies, and vaccine regimens that successfully elicited Fc-mediated responses and were reported to decrease risk of infection in challenge studies in NHPs. Lastly, detailed studies of IgG3 forms of HIV-specific antibodies have reported that both neutralizing and Fc-mediated responses can be increased relative to the more prevalent IgG1 subclass.
Summary: Successful harmonization of neutralizing and Fc-mediated responses may make key contributions to the goal of reducing HIV-1 infection via active and passive vaccination. New studies continue to highlight the importance of Fc-mediated antibody responses as correlates of decreased risk of infection and suggest enhanced phagocytosis is a potential mechanism of reduced risk of infection associated with human IgG3 responses. Results from recent studies may help guide the rational design of therapies and vaccines that aim to specifically leverage antibody effector function.