Challenges in designing HIV env immunogens for developing a vaccine

Indresh K. Srivastava, R. Holland Cheng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


HIV continues to be a major health problem worldwide; however, the situation is particularly serious in Asian and Sub-Saharan countries. Development of an effective HIV vaccine could help to reduce the severity of the disease and prevent infection. Over the last two decades significant efforts have been made toward inducing potent humoral and cellular immune responses by vaccination; however, it appears that either antibodies or CTL may not be sufficient alone for the induction of sterilizing immunity or long-term control of viral replication. Therefore, it is generally believed that both humoral and cellular responses will be needed for an effective HIV vaccine. It has been shown in passive transfer experiments using broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAb) such as b12, 2F5, and 2G12 that these mAbs either alone or in combination are effective in conferring protection against challenge infection to rhesus macaques. However, for the development of an effective vaccine, it has been a challenge to induce protective antibodies of similar specificities by vaccination. Therefore, efforts are being made by different groups to design an Env immunogen that may be more effective compared to the existing immunogens in inducing potent neutralizing and protective antibody responses by: i) optimizing existing Env structure to enhance the exposure of functional epitopes to focus the responses to these epitopes; ii) obtaining structural information on HIV Env, and using this information for structure-based novel immunogen design; and iii) identifying novel functional epitopes, and designing strategies to incorporate them in potential vaccines. Once potent HIV Env structures have been identified, their effectiveness may be enhanced through the use of adjuvants, delivery systems, and prime and boost strategies to improve the quality and magnitude of neutralizing responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStructure-Based Study of Viral Replication: (With CD-Rom)
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages53
ISBN (Electronic)9789812790859
ISBN (Print)9812704051, 9789812704054
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Challenges in designing HIV env immunogens for developing a vaccine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this