Protection of rabbits and immunodeficient mice against lethal poxvirus infections by human monoclonal antibodies.

Smallpox (variola virus) is a bioweapon concern. Monkeypox is a growing zoonotic poxvirus threat. These problems have resulted in extensive efforts to develop potential therapeutics that can prevent or treat potentially lethal poxvirus infections in humans. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against smallpox are a conservative approach to this problem, as the licensed human smallpox vaccine (vaccinia virus, VACV) primarily works on the basis of protective antibody responses against smallpox. Fully human mAbs (hmAbs) against vaccinia H3 (H3L) and B5 (B5R), targeting both the mature virion (MV) and extracellular enveloped virion (EV) forms, have been developed as potential therapeutics for use in humans. Post-exposure prophylaxis was assessed in both murine and rabbit animal models. Therapeutic efficacy of the mAbs was assessed in three good laboratory practices (GLP) studies examining severe combined immunodeficiency mice (SCID) given a lethal VACV infection. Pre-exposure combination hmAb therapy provided significantly better protection against disease and death than either single hmAb or vaccinia immune globulin (VIG). Post-exposure combination mAb therapy provided significant protection against disease and death, and appeared to fully cure the VACV infection in ≥50% of SCID mice. Therapeutic efficacy was then assessed in two rabbit studies examining post-exposure hmAb prophylaxis against rabbitpox (RPXV). In the first study, rabbits were infected with RPVX and then provided hmAbs at 48 hrs post-infection, or 1 hr and 72 hrs post-infection. Rabbits in both groups receiving hmAbs were 100% protected from death. In the second rabbitpox study, 100% of animal treated with combination hmAb therapy and 100% of animals treated with anti-B5 hmAb were protected. These findings suggest that combination hmAb treatment may be effective at controlling smallpox disease in immunocompetent or immunodeficient humans.
AuthorsLindsay Crickard, Tahar Babas, Sidharth Seth, Peter Silvera, Lilia Koriazova, Shane Crotty
JournalPloS one (PLoS One) Vol. 7 Issue 11 Pg. e48706 ( 2012) ISSN: 1932-6203 [Electronic] United States
PMID23133652 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal (chemistry, physiology)
  • Blood (metabolism)
  • Body Weight
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Liver (metabolism)
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Poxviridae Infections (diagnosis, immunology)
  • Rabbits
  • Spleen (metabolism)
  • Time Factors
  • Vaccinia (immunology, prevention & control)
  • Vaccinia virus (immunology)

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