Bispecific Antibody Affords Complete Post-Exposure Protection of Mice from Both Ebola (Zaire) and Sudan Viruses

Frei JC, Nyakatura EK, Zak SE, Bakken RA, Chandran K, Dye JM, and Lai JR. 2016. Sci Rep 5:19193.

[doi: 10.1038/srep19193]  [Download PDF]


Filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg) cause severe hemorrhagic fever. There are five species of ebolavirus; among these, the Ebola (Zaire) and Sudan viruses (EBOV and SUDV, respectively) are highly pathogenic and have both caused recurring, large outbreaks. However, the EBOV and SUDV glycoprotein (GP) sequences are 45% divergent and thus antigenically distinct. Few antibodies with cross-neutralizing properties have been described to date. We used antibody engineering to develop novel bispecific antibodies (Bis-mAbs) that are cross-reactive toward base epitopes on GP from EBOV and SUDV. These Bis-mAbs exhibit potent neutralization against EBOV and SUDV GP pseudotyped viruses as well as authentic pathogens, and confer a high degree (in one case 100%) post-exposure protection of mice from both viruses. Our studies show that a single agent that targets the GP base epitopes is sufficient for protection in mice; such agents could be included in pan-filovirus therapeutic antibody cocktails.