The Role of Antibody Concentration and Avidity in Antiviral Protection

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Science  27 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5321, pp. 2024-2027
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5321.2024

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Neutralizing antibodies are necessary and sufficient for protection against infection with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). The in vitro neutralization capacities and in vivo protective capacities of a panel of immunoglobulin G monoclonal antibodies to the glycoprotein of VSV were evaluated. In vitro, neutralizing activity correlated with avidity and with neutralization rate constant, a measure of on-rate. However, in vivo, protection was independent of immunoglobulin subclass, avidity, neutralization rate constant, and in vitro neutralizing activity; above a minimal avidity threshold, protection depended simply on a minimum serum concentration. These two biologically defined thresholds of antibody specificity offer hope for the development of adoptive therapy with neutralizing antibodies.

  • * Present address: Department for Medical Biophysics, Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2M9, Canada.

  • Present address: Department of Biomedicine, University of Pisa, I-S6127 Pisa, Italy.

  • Present address: Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TD, UK.

  • § To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: RZI{at}

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