Research ArticleHIV

HLA class II genes modulate vaccine-induced antibody responses to affect HIV-1 acquisition

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Science Translational Medicine  15 Jul 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 296, pp. 296ra112
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aab4005

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An HIV vaccine on the Orient Express

Unlike an Agatha Christie novel, biomedical mysteries are not always neatly solved at the end of a trial. The RV144 HIV vaccine trial is a prime example, and follow-up studies have searched for correlates of protection from HIV acquisition. Two different antibody responses have been associated with HIV acquisition—one protecting from acquisition and the other mitigating the protective response. Now, Prentice et al. demonstrate that these differences occur only in the presence of particular host HLA alleles. Thus, the genetic background of the recipients may determine whether individuals elicit a protective response to the HIV vaccine.