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Protective monotherapy against lethal Ebola virus infection by a potently neutralizing antibody

Science  18 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6279, pp. 1339-1342
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad5224

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Antibodies block Ebola virus entry

The recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa illustrates the need for both an effective vaccine and therapies to treat infected individuals. Corti et al. isolated two monoclonal antibodies from a survivor of the 1995 Kikwit outbreak and demonstrated their therapeutic efficacy in Ebola virus–infected macaques. In fact, one antibody protected macaques when it was given up to 5 days after infection. Misasi et al. solved the crystal structures of fragments of the two antibodies bound to the Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP), which mediates viral cell entry. The two antibodies targeted different regions of GP, but in both cases blocked steps required for viral entry.

Science, this issue pp. 1339 & 1343

Abstract

Ebola virus disease in humans is highly lethal, with case fatality rates ranging from 25 to 90%. There is no licensed treatment or vaccine against the virus, underscoring the need for efficacious countermeasures. We ascertained that a human survivor of the 1995 Kikwit Ebola virus disease outbreak maintained circulating antibodies against the Ebola virus surface glycoprotein for more than a decade after infection. From this survivor we isolated monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that neutralize recent and previous outbreak variants of Ebola virus and mediate antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity in vitro. Strikingly, monotherapy with mAb114 protected macaques when given as late as 5 days after challenge. Treatment with a single human mAb suggests that a simplified therapeutic strategy for human Ebola infection may be possible.

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