A safe and effective HIV vaccine has eluded the scientific community for over three decades. With the failure of vaccines based on neutralizing antibody and cytotoxic T cells, researchers are seeking novel approaches. The partially successful RV144 vaccine trial focused scientific interest on binding antibodies, such as those that mediate antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). The biological importance of HIV-specific ADCC is strongly suggested by the generation of ADCC-escape HIV variants and passive transfer experiments. Newer assays for HIV-specific ADCC have defined new epitopes other than in the envelope protein. Such ADCC epitopes could be useful in novel HIV vaccine design. Researchers have shown that recombinant viral vectors such as canarypox or adenovirus boosted with recombinant HIV proteins can induce ADCC and lead to partial protection. These significant developments pave the way for trialing ADCC-based technology in novel HIV vaccine studies.
- NK cells