Characterization of Serum Antibody Responses to Recombinant HIV-1 gp160 Vaccine by Enzyme Immunoassay

Raphael Viscidi, Barbara Clayman, Karen Midthun, Mary Lou Clements, Edward Ellerbeck, Leslie Garrison, Bruce Fernie, Gale Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


An enzyme immunoassay (EIA) was developed to measure serum antibody responses of healthy adult volunteers vaccinated with 40 or 80 μg of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) recombinant gp160 (rgp160) vaccine at 0, 1, 6, and 18 months. This assay, which used purified rgp160 as antigen, was compared with the Biotech/Du Pont HIV-1 Western blot and the Abbott HIV-1 EIA. Of 33 volunteers who received three doses of rgp160 vaccine, seroresponses were detected in 91% by rgp160 EIA, 97% by Western blot, and 30% by HIV-1 EIA. The level of IgG rgp160 EIA antibody (mainly IgG1) peaked after the third immunization; 64% of 33 vaccinees still had detectable antibody by 12 months. The fourth immunization induced anamnestic IgG EIA antibody in 23 of 24 vaccinees, with titers ranging from 1:200 to 1:25,600. Neutralizing antibody was not detected in postvaccination sera by microtiter syncytium formation inhibition assay. Additional testing of sera by EIA indicated that the immune response to the vaccine was directed toward epitopes on both gp120 and gp41. Seroresponses to the immunodominant epitopes on gp41 were infrequent and none were detected to the neutralization epitope in the V3 region of gp120. This highly sensitive EIA is useful for characterizing HIV-1-specific antibody responses induced by an HIV-1 gp160 subunit vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1251-1256
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS research and human retroviruses
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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