Mullins Molecular Retrovirology Lab

  • Department of Microbiology
  • School of Medicine
  • University of Washington
University of Washington/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research

Citation Information

McElrath MJ, Corey L, Greenberg PD, Matthews TJ, Montefiori DC, Rowen L, Hood L, Mullins JI (1996). Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection despite prior immunization with a recombinant envelope vaccine regimen. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 93(9), 3972-7. (pubmed)


With efforts underway to develop a preventive human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine, it remains unclear which immune responses are sufficient to protect against infection and whether prior HIV-1 immunity can alter the subsequent course of HIV-1 infection. We investigated these issues in the context of a volunteer who received six HIV-1LAI envelope immunizations and 10 weeks thereafter acquired HIV-1 infection through a high-risk sexual exposure. In contrast to nonvaccinated acutely infected individuals, anamnestic HIV-1-specific B- and T-cell responses appeared within 3 weeks in this individual, and neutralizing antibody preceded CD8+ cytotoxic responses. Despite an asymptomatic course and an initial low level of detectable infectious virus, a progressive CD4+ cell decline and dysfunction occurred within 2 years. Although vaccination elicited immunity to HIV-1 envelope, which was recalled upon HIV-1 exposure, it was insufficient to prevent infection and subsequent immunodeficiency.