An analysis of the humoral immunogenicity of a candidate AIDS vaccine (VaxSyn) in a murine model system is presented. Sera taken from a panel of mice immunized with the immunogen were analysed for their ability to bind a panel of gp120-representing peptides and limited reactivity to known sites of immunological interest was observed. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were characterized as binding to a more restricted variety of regions on gp120 including C1, V2, V4 and the C terminus. A tetrazolium-based cytocidicity assay was used and shown to be an effective and objective method for the screening of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-neutralizing activity in large numbers of samples. None of the MAbs characterized in this study neutralize HIV-1 reference strains. The significance of these findings in view of previous publications is discussed.


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