Eliciting efficient broadly neutralizing antibodies (BnAbs) is an important goal that has yet to be achieved for
human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine development, although they are rarely produced in virus-infected individuals.
In particular, inducing specific neutralizing antibodies to the gp41 membrane proximal external region (MPER)
has proven a difficult task. In this study, we introduce Norovirus P particles as a new platform to display the MPER epitope
of HIV-1 as a vaccine with the aim of enhancing immune responses. The results showed that HIV-1 chimeric P particles
were capable of inducing MPER-specific antibody responses in immunized guinea pigs, although only weakly neutralizing
activity could be detected. These findings are consistent with other previous studies which have also focused on
the well-studied 2F5 and 4E10 BnAbs. Our findings provide an alternate strategy for design of vaccines against HIV-1.
However, great challenges remain in the effort to develop vaccines that can induce efficient HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies.
Keywords: Broadly neutralizing antibody, guinea pig, HIV-1, MPER, norovirus P particles, vaccine.
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