Broadly neutralizing antibodies stole the show at Keystone

A vaccine that elicits broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to HIV has long seemed at least as elusive as the Holy Grail. But as more and more such antibodies are isolated from HIV-infected volunteers—revealing rare vulnerabilities on HIV—researchers are increasingly hopeful of coaxing that coveted humoral response.

Some 400 attendees at the Keystone Symposia, which paired the annual HIV Vaccines meeting with the Viral Immunity and Host Gene Influence meeting, got an update on the quest to make such vaccines. A number of talks at the conference, held March 21-26, illuminated how structural and computational biology are being applied to reverse-engineer immunogens that might induce bNAbs. Others described how next-generation DNA sequencing technologies are unraveling the genetic origins and evolution of those antibodies.

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