Special Issue "Advances in Antibody-based HIV-1 Vaccine Development"

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Ursula Dietrich

Department of Experimental Therapy, Georg-Speyer-Haus, Paul-Ehrlich-Str. 42-44, 60596 Frankfurt, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: HIV-1; broadly neutralizing antibodies; nanobodies; vaccine development; phage display

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite the great success of antiretroviral therapy, both in the treatment and prevention of HIV-1 infection, a vaccine is still urgently needed to end the epidemic. Intensive collaborative work in the last decade resulted in the isolation of antibodies from a subset of HIV-positive patients, that can potently neutralize a broad spectrum of primary HIV-1 isolates in vitro and protect from infection in animal models, advancing these broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) to clinical trials in recent years. In parallel, detailed structural characterizations of bnAbs in complex with HIV-1 envelope proteins (Env) gave structural insights into particular features of these antibodies and their epitopes. Unfortunately, HIV-1 Env immunogens derived from this knowledge were not able to date to induce bnAbs upon vaccination of humans or non-human primates. However, they can do so in certain species like camelids or cows, which naturally generate antibodies with special characteristics of bnAbs. Detailed immunological studies are being performed to understand the generation of bnAbs in patients with the aim to recapitulate the underlying mechanisms in vaccination approaches. A continous coevolution of virus and antibodies driven by immunological escape mutants seems to be essential and serves as the basis for the generation of a series of Env immunogens for the next vaccine trials. Besides neutralization, Fc-mediated effector functions of antibodies are also important to control viremia by targeting cytotoxic immune activities to HIV-1 infected cells, thus potentially eliminating viral reservoirs in the body. In view of future therapeutic vaccine trials, the focus will be on choosing the right combinations of antibodies as well as delivery modes in order to achieve persisting and highly effective antibody concentrations. For prophylactic passive vaccine trials, bnAbs or derivatives may be particularly interesting to prevent infection in high risk cohorts. For classical active vaccination programs it has to be shown whether suitable Env immunogens can be identified that are able to stimulate naive B cell precursors in large populations to generate bnAbs.

Dr. Ursula Dietrich
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 650 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • HIV-1 vaccine development
  • broadly neutralizing antibodies
  • natural vs. vaccine-induced antibody response
  • effector functions of antibodies
  • structure-based immunogen design
  • vectors for vaccine delivery
  • perspectives for clinical applications

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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