In the midst of the most promising era in HIV prevention research since the AIDS epidemic began, scientists from around the world are presenting the results of research studies outlining advances in the search for a safe and effective HIV vaccine at AIDS Vaccine 2011. This global conference, the world’s only scientific meeting dedicated exclusively to HIV vaccine research, opened on Monday in Bangkok and runs through 15 September.
Highlights of Day 1 include (the detailed conference agenda can be found here)
- First result of the correlates study on RV144 samples showed that IgG levels correlated with increased protection whereas levels of IgA in plasma correlated with lower protection levels. The IgGs were directed to V1V2 loop of the HIV envelope. (J. Kim PL01.05 and B. Haynes PL01.06)
- Vaccination of macaques with a regimen mimicking that used in RV144 trial provided protection against homologous SIVmac251 repeated low-dose challenge. The level of observed protection (30%) was similar to that seen in RV144 trial and the vaccine also had no effect on viral load or CD4 levels (G. Franchini, OA01.03)
- First crystal structure of the HIV-1 gp120 V1V2-scaffolds showing that V1V2 exists as a 4-stranded β-sheet, with highly variable loops connecting strands (J. McLellan OA03.03)
- Glycan dependency of PGT antibodies who also are able to penetrate the Env glycan shield (IA Wilson OA04.05) and broadly cross-neutralizing antibodies identified in the CAPRISA cohort that were developed after viral escape by glycan addition (P. Moore OA04.07)
- A study looking at 621 patients found no enrichment of certain HLA class I alleles during acute HIV infection and no association of presence or absence of a CD8 T cell response with lower viral load (H Streeck OA05.06)
If you missed the sessions don’t miss the webcasts
- Special Session featuring lessons for HIV vaccine development from other vaccines by Stanley Plotkin
- Opening Ceremony presided by HRH and keynote presentation by Carl Dieffenbach
- Plenary 1 featuring exciting data from the RV144 case control studies
Other conference highlights:
More details on the data presented at the conference can be found on the IAVI blog.