Two independent teams have identified a number of antibodies that could potentially form the basis of a MERS vaccine.
This week Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) cornonavirus has made it’s way over to the US, and with the death toll reaching towards 100 the push for a vaccine is increasing. Fortunately progress has been made by teams from the US and China.
The team from from the US, led by Wayne Marasco of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Ralph Baric at the university of North Carolina, have identified 7 neutralizing antibodies with the potential deafeat the virus. The 7 antibodies bind themselves to 3 epitope groups which prevent the virus from attaching itself to host cells.
This panel of nAbs offers the possibility of developing human mab-based immunotherapy, especially for healthcare workers
The team from Chain, led by Linqi Zhang at Tsinghua University Beijing, have identified a further two neutralizing antibodies (MERS-4 & MERS-27) which recognize different parts of the MERS protein, but which work together to block the virus in it’s attempt to infect cells.