Prophylaxis With a Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)–Specific Human Monoclonal Antibody Protects Rabbits From MERS-CoV Infection

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Abstract

With >1600 documented human infections with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and a case fatality rate of approximately 36%, medical countermeasures are needed to prevent and limit the disease. We examined the in vivo efficacy of the human monoclonal antibody m336, which has high neutralizing activity against MERS-CoV in vitro. m336 was administered to rabbits intravenously or intranasally before infection with MERS-CoV. Prophylaxis with m336 resulted in a reduction of pulmonary viral RNA titers by 40–9000-fold, compared with an irrelevant control antibody with little to no inflammation or viral antigen detected. This protection in rabbits supports further clinical development of m336.

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