Immunization With Envelope Subunit Vaccine Products Elicits Neutralizing Antibodies Against Laboratory-Adapted but Not Primary Isolates of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases AIDS Vaccine Evaluation Group

J Infect Dis. 1996 Feb;173(2):340-8. doi: 10.1093/infdis/173.2.340.


Phase I studies of volunteers not infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) have shown that immunization with envelope subunit vaccine products elicits antibodies that neutralize laboratory-adapted (prototype) HIV-1 strains in vitro. Prototype strains are adapted to grow in continuous (neoplastic) cell lines and are more susceptible to neutralization than are primary isolates cultured in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In this study, 50 sera from nine phase I vaccine trials and 16 from HIV-1-infected persons were evaluated for neutralizing antibody activity against 3 laboratory-adapted and 5 primary HIV-1 isolates. Of 50 sera, 49 neutralized at least 1 of the prototype strains; however, none displayed neutralizing activity against primary isolates of HIV-1. Serum from most HIV-1-infected persons neutralized both laboratory-adapted and primary HIV-1 isolates. These data demonstrate a qualitative, or large quantitative, difference in the neutralizing antibody response induced by envelope subunit vaccination and natural HIV-1 infection.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gene Products, env / immunology*
  • HIV Antibodies / immunology*
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / immunology*
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp160
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Immunization*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Protein Precursors / immunology*
  • Virus Cultivation


  • AIDS Vaccines
  • Gene Products, env
  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp160
  • Protein Precursors