A humanized monoclonal antibody neutralizes yellow fever virus strain 17D-204in vitrobut does not protect a mouse model from disease

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Abstract

The yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccine 17D-204 is considered safe and effective, yet rare severe adverse events (SAEs), some resulting in death, have been documented following vaccination. Individuals exhibiting post-vaccinal SAEs are ideal candidates for antiviral monoclonal antibody (MAb) therapy; the time until appearance of clinical signs post-exposure is usually short and patients are quickly hospitalized. We previously developed a murine-human chimeric monoclonal antibody (cMAb), 2C9-cIgG, reactive with both virulent YFV and 17D-204, and demonstrated its ability to prevent and treat YF disease in both AG129 mouse and hamster models of infection. To counteract possible selection of 17D-204 variants that escape neutralization by treatment with a single MAb (2C9-cIgG), we developed a second cMAb, 864-cIgG, for use in combination with 2C9-cIgG in post-vaccinal therapy. MAb 864-cIgG recognizes/neutralizes only YFV 17D-204 vaccine substrain and binds to domain III (DIII) of the viral envelope protein, which is different from the YFV type-specific binding site of 2C9-cIgG in DII. Although it neutralized 17D-204 in vitro, administration of 864-cIgG had no protective capacity in the interferon receptor-deficient AG129 mouse model of 17D-204 infection. The data presented here show that although DIII-specific 864-cIgG neutralizes virus infectivity in vitro, it does not have the ability to abrogate disease in vivo. Therefore, combination of 864-cIgG with 2C9-cIgG for treatment of YF vaccination SAEs does not appear to provide an improvement on 2C9-cIgG therapy alone.

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