Alpaca polyclonal IgG antibodies protect against lethal Andes Virus infection
Sroga, Patrycja Magdalena
Hantaviruses remain a global health issue as the number of infections continues to rise from year to year. Andes virus (ANDV), a South American Hantavirus strain carried by the long-tailed pygmy rice rat Oligoryzomys longicaudatus, causes over 200 infections each year in Argentina and Chile. The virus is transmitted through inhalation of infected rodent excreta, however numerous reports have confirmed person-to-person cases as well. ANDV is responsible for causing Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and the lack of an approved therapeutic and/or vaccine is a problem as the fatality rate ranges from 30-50% between outbreaks. Recent animal studies have documented the potential of using antibodies as an effective treatment for Andes virus infections. The central hypothesis of this thesis is that neutralizing alpaca IgG antibodies produced through DNA vaccination will provide protection against lethal ANDV challenge within the Golden Syrian hamster model. This hypothesis was addressed by vaccinating alpacas and generating hyperimmune Andes virus-specific polyclonal IgG antibodies. Afterwards, these antibodies were evaluated in a bioavailability and protection study within the lethal Golden Syrian hamster model. Purified neutralizing polyclonal IgG alpaca antibodies were found to be 100% protective against lethal ANDV hamster infection when administered at days +1 and +3 post challenge. The success of this study provides promising proof of concept data that neutralizing alpaca PcIgG antibodies have the potential to be a highly effective and novel treatment for ANDV infections.
Nanobodies, Neutralization, Alpaca, Heavy-chain only antibodies, Treatment