Hantaviruses are high-priority emerging pathogens carried by rodents and transmitted to humans by aerosolized excreta or, in rare cases, person-to-person contact. While infections in humans are relatively rare, mortality rates range from 1 to 40% depending on the hantavirus species. There are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or therapeutics for hantaviruses, and the only treatment for infection is supportive care for respiratory or kidney failure. Additionally, the human humoral immune response to hantavirus infection is incompletely understood, especially the location of major antigenic sites on the viral glycoproteins and conserved neutralizing epitopes. Here, we report antigenic mapping and functional characterization for four neutralizing hantavirus antibodies. The broadly neutralizing antibody SNV-53 targets an interface between Gn/Gc, neutralizes through fusion inhibition and cross-protects against the Old World hantavirus species Hantaan virus when administered pre- or post-exposure. Another broad antibody, SNV-24, also neutralizes through fusion inhibition but targets domain I of Gc and demonstrates weak neutralizing activity to authentic hantaviruses. ANDV-specific, neutralizing antibodies (ANDV-5 and ANDV-34) neutralize through attachment blocking and protect against hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) in animals but target two different antigenic faces on the head domain of Gn. Determining the antigenic sites for neutralizing antibodies will contribute to further therapeutic development for hantavirus-related diseases and inform the design of new broadly protective hantavirus vaccines.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript.
- Taylor B Engdahl
- Jay W Hooper
- James E Crowe Jr.
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Animal challenge studies were conducted in the ABSL-4 facility of the Galveston National Laboratory. The animal protocol for testing of mAbs in hamsters was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) (protocol #1912091).
- Arturo Casadevall, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States
This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
CD4 T follicular helper cells (Tfh) are essential for establishing serological memory and have distinct helper attributes that impact both the quantity and quality of the antibody response. Insights into Tfh subsets that promote antibody persistence and functional capacity can critically inform vaccine design. Based on the Tfh profiles evoked by the live attenuated measles virus vaccine, renowned for its ability to establish durable humoral immunity, we investigated the potential of a Tfh1/17 recall response during the boost phase to enhance persistence of HIV-1 Envelope (Env) antibodies in rhesus macaques. Using a DNA-prime encoding gp160 antigen and Tfh polarizing cytokines (interferon protein-10 (IP-10) and interleukin-6 (IL-6)), followed by a gp140 protein boost formulated in a cationic liposome-based adjuvant (CAF01), we successfully generated germinal center (GC) Tfh1/17 cells. In contrast, a similar DNA-prime (including IP-10) followed by gp140 formulated with monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) +QS-21 adjuvant predominantly induced GC Tfh1 cells. While the generation of GC Tfh1/17 cells with CAF01 and GC Tfh1 cells with MPLA +QS-21 induced comparable peak Env antibodies, the latter group demonstrated significantly greater antibody concentrations at week 8 after final immunization which persisted up to 30 weeks (gp140 IgG ng/ml- MPLA; 5500; CAF01, 2155; p<0.05). Notably, interferon γ+Env-specific Tfh responses were consistently higher with gp140 in MPLA +QS-21 and positively correlated with Env antibody persistence. These findings suggest that vaccine platforms maximizing GC Tfh1 induction promote persistent Env antibodies, important for protective immunity against HIV.
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