Research Topic

Novel Concepts in Using Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies for HIV-1 Treatment and Prevention

About this Research Topic

Despite the success of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in suppressing HIV-1 replication and preventing disease progression, the high costs, the burden of daily medication, toxicity and the development of resistance underscore the need for new therapeutic approaches.

Over the past decade, broadly HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) were discovered that are up to a 1000-fold more potent than HIV-1-reactive antibodies previously described. About 10 years after the first identification of these broadly neutralizing antibodies, bNAbs that effectively target multiple HIV-1 variants with a high potency have been found for most of the immunological important epitopes on the HIV-1 envelope-trimer like the CD4 binding site, the V1/V2 loop, the V3-glycan, the membrane-proximal external region (MPER), the interface region with the fusion peptide and the so called ‘silent face’. Some of these bNAbs have been demonstrated to safely suppress viremia and delay viral rebound after interruption of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in HIV-1-infected individuals. Moreover, bNAbs have been demonstrated to prevent infection in animal models and prevention studies where bNAbs are tested for their effectivity as passive immunization in humans are currently ongoing. Thus, bNAbs represent a promising novel approach for effective HIV-1 immunotherapy and prevention. However, infusions of single bNAbs drive the emergence of viral escape mutations and some patients harbor pre-existing resistance in their proviral or circulating HIV-1 quasispecies. Thus, in order to restrict HIV-1 escape mechanisms, future treatment regimens will require novel antibodies, antibody combinations or novel concepts like e.g. bi- or trispecific antibodies.

In this Research Topic, we aim to bring together new studies and comprehensive reviews that advance the field of bNAbs and their future clinical use for treatment and prevention of HIV-1. To this end we invite authors to submit manuscripts that describe novel bNAbs, extend our knowledge on already known antibodies, explore how future treatments could restrict HIV-1 escape from bNAbs and describe new concepts that might impact a future clinical use of bNAbs.

We welcome authors to submit Original Research, Review, Systematic Review, Mini Review, Methods, Perspective and Clinical Trial articles covering, but not limited to, the following sub-topics:

• Novel natural and engineered bNAbs, or their combinations, that show favorable characteristics for potential future clinical use
• Novel structural and immunological insights into current bNAbs
• BNAb escape mechanisms of HIV-1
• Pre-existing bNAb resistance in patients
• Novel methods to overcome HIV-1 escape from bNAbs
• Clinical testing or in vivo testing of bNAbs or combinations
• Improved methods to deliver bNAbs and/or extend their bioavailability
• Computational/theoretical modeling to predict bNAb efficacy
• Descriptions or engineering of non-neutralizing functions of bNAbs


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Despite the success of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in suppressing HIV-1 replication and preventing disease progression, the high costs, the burden of daily medication, toxicity and the development of resistance underscore the need for new therapeutic approaches.

Over the past decade, broadly HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) were discovered that are up to a 1000-fold more potent than HIV-1-reactive antibodies previously described. About 10 years after the first identification of these broadly neutralizing antibodies, bNAbs that effectively target multiple HIV-1 variants with a high potency have been found for most of the immunological important epitopes on the HIV-1 envelope-trimer like the CD4 binding site, the V1/V2 loop, the V3-glycan, the membrane-proximal external region (MPER), the interface region with the fusion peptide and the so called ‘silent face’. Some of these bNAbs have been demonstrated to safely suppress viremia and delay viral rebound after interruption of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in HIV-1-infected individuals. Moreover, bNAbs have been demonstrated to prevent infection in animal models and prevention studies where bNAbs are tested for their effectivity as passive immunization in humans are currently ongoing. Thus, bNAbs represent a promising novel approach for effective HIV-1 immunotherapy and prevention. However, infusions of single bNAbs drive the emergence of viral escape mutations and some patients harbor pre-existing resistance in their proviral or circulating HIV-1 quasispecies. Thus, in order to restrict HIV-1 escape mechanisms, future treatment regimens will require novel antibodies, antibody combinations or novel concepts like e.g. bi- or trispecific antibodies.

In this Research Topic, we aim to bring together new studies and comprehensive reviews that advance the field of bNAbs and their future clinical use for treatment and prevention of HIV-1. To this end we invite authors to submit manuscripts that describe novel bNAbs, extend our knowledge on already known antibodies, explore how future treatments could restrict HIV-1 escape from bNAbs and describe new concepts that might impact a future clinical use of bNAbs.

We welcome authors to submit Original Research, Review, Systematic Review, Mini Review, Methods, Perspective and Clinical Trial articles covering, but not limited to, the following sub-topics:

• Novel natural and engineered bNAbs, or their combinations, that show favorable characteristics for potential future clinical use
• Novel structural and immunological insights into current bNAbs
• BNAb escape mechanisms of HIV-1
• Pre-existing bNAb resistance in patients
• Novel methods to overcome HIV-1 escape from bNAbs
• Clinical testing or in vivo testing of bNAbs or combinations
• Improved methods to deliver bNAbs and/or extend their bioavailability
• Computational/theoretical modeling to predict bNAb efficacy
• Descriptions or engineering of non-neutralizing functions of bNAbs


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 January 2021 Abstract
15 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 January 2021 Abstract
15 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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