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Repeated Vaccination of Cows with HIV Env gp140 during Subsequent Pregnancies Elicits and Sustains an Enduring Strong Env-Binding and Neutralising Antibody Response.

Heydarchi B, Center RJ, Gonelli C, Muller B, Mackenzie C, Khoury G, Lichtfuss M, Rawlin G, Purcell DF

  • Journal PloS one

  • Published 14 Jun 2016

  • Volume 11

  • ISSUE 6

  • Pagination e0157353

  • DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0157353


An important feature of a potential vaccine against HIV is the production of broadly neutralising antibodies (BrNAbs) capable of potentially blocking infectivity of a diverse array of HIV strains. BrNAbs naturally arise in some HIV infected individuals after several years of infection and their serum IgG can neutralise various HIV strains across different subtypes. We previously showed that vaccination of cows with HIV gp140 AD8 trimers resulted in a high titre of serum IgG against HIV envelope (Env) that had strong BrNAb activity. These polyclonal BrNAbs concentrated into the colostrum during the late stage of pregnancy and can be harvested in vast quantities immediately after calving. In this study, we investigated the effect of prolonged HIV gp140 vaccination on bovine colostrum IgG HIV Env-binding and BrNAb activity over subsequent pregnancies. Repeated immunisation led to a maintained high titre of HIV Env specific IgG in the colostrum batches, but this did not increase through repeated cycles. Colostrum IgG from all batches also strongly competed with sCD4 binding to gp140 Env trimer and with human-derived monoclonal VRC01 and b12 BrNAbs that bind the CD4 binding site (CD4bs). Furthermore, competition neutralisation assays using RSC3 Env gp120 protein core and a derivative CD4bs mutant, RSC3 Δ371I/P363N, showed that CD4bs neutralising antibodies contribute to the neutralising activity of all batches of purified bovine colostrum IgG. This result indicates that the high IgG titre/avidity of anti-CD4bs antibodies with BrNAb activity was achieved during the first year of vaccination and was sustained throughout the years of repeated vaccinations in the cow tested. Although IgG of subsequent colostrum batches may have a higher avidity towards the CD4bs, the overall breadth in neutralisation was not enhanced. This implies that the boosting vaccinations over 4 years elicited a polyclonal antibody response that maintained the proportion of both neutralising and non-neutralising CD4bs antibodies.