Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Isolation and Characterization of Cross-Reactive Human Monoclonal Antibodies that Potently Neutralize Australian Bat Lyssavirus Variants and Other Phylogroup 1 Lyssaviruses

Version 1 : Received: 1 February 2021 / Approved: 2 February 2021 / Online: 2 February 2021 (08:27:58 CET)

How to cite: Weir, D.; Coggins, S.; Vu, B.; Coertse, J.; Yan, L.; Smith, I.; Laing, E.; Markotter, W.; Broder, C.; Schaefer, B. Isolation and Characterization of Cross-Reactive Human Monoclonal Antibodies that Potently Neutralize Australian Bat Lyssavirus Variants and Other Phylogroup 1 Lyssaviruses. Preprints 2021, 2021020075 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202102.0075.v1). Weir, D.; Coggins, S.; Vu, B.; Coertse, J.; Yan, L.; Smith, I.; Laing, E.; Markotter, W.; Broder, C.; Schaefer, B. Isolation and Characterization of Cross-Reactive Human Monoclonal Antibodies that Potently Neutralize Australian Bat Lyssavirus Variants and Other Phylogroup 1 Lyssaviruses. Preprints 2021, 2021020075 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202102.0075.v1).

Abstract

Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) is a rhabdovirus that circulates in four species of pteropid bats (ABLVp) and the yellow-bellied sheath-tailed bat (ABLVs) in mainland Australia. In the three confirmed human cases of ABLV, rabies illness preceded fatality. As with rabies virus (RABV), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for potential ABLV infections consists of wound cleansing, ad-ministration of the rabies vaccine and injection of rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) proximal to the wound. Despite the efficacy of PEP, the inaccessibility of human RIG (HRIG) in the developing world and the high immunogenicity of equine RIG (ERIG) has led to consideration of human monoclonal antibodies (hmAbs) as a passive immunization option that offers enhanced safety and specificity. Using a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) expressing the glycoprotein (G) protein of ABLVs and phage display, we identified two hmAbs, A6 and F11, which completely neutralize ABLVs/ABLVp, and RABV at concentrations ranging from 0.19-3.12 µg/mL and 0.39-6.25 µg/mL respectively. A6 and F11 recognize overlapping epitopes in the lyssavirus G protein, ef-fectively neutralizing phylogroup 1 lyssaviruses, while having little effect on phylogroup 2 and non-grouped diverse lyssaviruses. These results suggest A6 and F11 could be effective therapeutic and diagnostic tools for phylogroup 1 lyssavirus infections.

Subject Areas

bat; monoclonal antibodies; lyssaviruses; neutralization; glycoprotein; ABLV; rabies; RABV; phage display

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