Antibody-guided structure-based vaccines

Semin Immunol. 2020 Aug:50:101428. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2020.101428. Epub 2020 Nov 24.


The vaccine field is pursuing diverse approaches to translate the molecular insights from analyses of effective antibodies and their targeted epitopes into immunogens capable of eliciting protective immune responses. Here we review current antibody-guided strategies including conformation-based, epitope-based, and lineage-based vaccine approaches, which are yielding promising vaccine candidates now being evaluated in clinical trials. We summarize directions being employed by the field, including the use of sequencing technologies to monitor and track developing immune responses for understanding and improving antibody-based immunity. We review opportunities and challenges to transform powerful new discoveries into safe and effective vaccines, which are encapsulated by vaccine efforts against a variety of pathogens including HIV-1, influenza A virus, malaria parasites, respiratory syncytial virus, and SARS-CoV-2. Overall, this review summarizes the extensive progress that has been made to realize antibody-guided structure-based vaccines, the considerable challenges faced, and the opportunities afforded by recently developed molecular approaches to vaccine development.

Keywords: Antibody; Atomic-level design; Immune monitoring; Next-generation sequencing (NGS); Nucleic acid-based vaccines; Vaccine R&D; mRNA delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / immunology*
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / immunology*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Primary Prevention / methods
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology
  • Vaccinology / methods*


  • COVID-19 Vaccines