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As observed during the 2013-2016 Ebola virus disease epidemic, containment of filovirus outbreaks is challenging and made more difficult by the lack of approved vaccine or therapeutic options. Marburg and Ravn viruses are highly virulent and cause severe and frequently lethal disease in humans. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are a platform technology in wide use for autoimmune and oncology indications. Previously, we described human mAbs that can protect mice from lethal challenge with Marburg virus. We demonstrate that one of these mAbs, MR191-N, can confer a survival benefit of up to 100% to Marburg or Ravn virus-infected rhesus macaques when treatment is initiated up to 5 days post-inoculation. These findings extend the small but growing body of evidence that mAbs can impart therapeutic benefit during advanced stages of disease with highly virulent viruses and could be useful in epidemic settings.
Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
UNLABELLED - Recent experiments suggest that some glycoprotein (GP)-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) can protect experimental animals against the filovirus Ebola virus (EBOV). There is a need for isolation of MAbs capable of neutralizing multiple filoviruses. Antibody neutralization assays for filoviruses frequently use surrogate systems such as the rhabdovirus vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus (VSV), lentiviruses or gammaretroviruses with their envelope proteins replaced with EBOV GP or pseudotyped with EBOV GP. It is optimal for both screening and in-depth characterization of newly identified neutralizing MAbs to generate recombinant filoviruses that express a reporter fluorescent protein in order to more easily monitor and quantify the infection. Our study showed that unlike neutralization-sensitive chimeric VSV, authentic filoviruses are highly resistant to neutralization by MAbs. We used reverse genetics techniques to replace EBOV GP with its counterpart from the heterologous filoviruses Bundibugyo virus (BDBV), Sudan virus, and even Marburg virus and Lloviu virus, which belong to the heterologous genera in the filovirus family. This work resulted in generation of multiple chimeric filoviruses, demonstrating the ability of filoviruses to tolerate swapping of the envelope protein. The sensitivity of chimeric filoviruses to neutralizing MAbs was similar to that of authentic biologically derived filoviruses with the same GP. Moreover, disabling the expression of the secreted GP (sGP) resulted in an increased susceptibility of an engineered virus to the BDBV52 MAb isolated from a BDBV survivor, suggesting a role for sGP in evasion of antibody neutralization in the context of a human filovirus infection.
IMPORTANCE - The study demonstrated that chimeric rhabdoviruses in which G protein is replaced with filovirus GP, widely used as surrogate targets for characterization of filovirus neutralizing antibodies, do not accurately predict the ability of antibodies to neutralize authentic filoviruses, which appeared to be resistant to neutralization. However, a recombinant EBOV expressing a fluorescent protein tolerated swapping of GP with counterparts from heterologous filoviruses, allowing high-throughput screening of B cell lines to isolate MAbs of any filovirus specificity. Human MAb BDBV52, which was isolated from a survivor of BDBV infection, was capable of partially neutralizing a chimeric EBOV carrying BDBV GP in which expression of sGP was disabled. In contrast, the parental virus expressing sGP was resistant to the MAb. Thus, the ability of filoviruses to tolerate swapping of GP can be used for identification of neutralizing MAbs specific to any filovirus and for the characterization of MAb specificity and mechanism of action.
Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Interferon-inducible transmembrane proteins 1, 2, and 3 (IFITM1, 2, and 3) are recently identified viral restriction factors that inhibit infection mediated by the influenza A virus (IAV) hemagglutinin (HA) protein. Here we show that IFITM proteins restricted infection mediated by the entry glycoproteins (GP(1,2)) of Marburg and Ebola filoviruses (MARV, EBOV). Consistent with these observations, interferon-β specifically restricted filovirus and IAV entry processes. IFITM proteins also inhibited replication of infectious MARV and EBOV. We observed distinct patterns of IFITM-mediated restriction: compared with IAV, the entry processes of MARV and EBOV were less restricted by IFITM3, but more restricted by IFITM1. Moreover, murine Ifitm5 and 6 did not restrict IAV, but efficiently inhibited filovirus entry. We further demonstrate that replication of infectious SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and entry mediated by the SARS-CoV spike (S) protein are restricted by IFITM proteins. The profile of IFITM-mediated restriction of SARS-CoV was more similar to that of filoviruses than to IAV. Trypsin treatment of receptor-associated SARS-CoV pseudovirions, which bypasses their dependence on lysosomal cathepsin L, also bypassed IFITM-mediated restriction. However, IFITM proteins did not reduce cellular cathepsin activity or limit access of virions to acidic intracellular compartments. Our data indicate that IFITM-mediated restriction is localized to a late stage in the endocytic pathway. They further show that IFITM proteins differentially restrict the entry of a broad range of enveloped viruses, and modulate cellular tropism independently of viral receptor expression.