Antibodies Discovered for a Possible MERS Vaccine

MERS-CoV-CORONAVIRUS

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.

Zhang et al. “Potent Neutralization of MERS-CoV by Human Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibodies to the Viral Spike Glycoprotein”

Marasco, Baric, et al. “Identification of Human Neutralizing Antibodies against MERS-CoV and Their role in virus Adaptive evolution” ¬†

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