Broadly protective antibodies could lead to better flu treatments and vaccines

October 25, 2019

WHAT:

A newly identified set of three antibodies could lead to better treatments and vaccines against influenza, according to a paper published this week in Science. Researchers supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, isolated the antibodies from a person sick with the flu five days after the onset of symptoms. They found that the antibodies, which bind to neuraminidase (NA) proteins on the surface of influenza viruses, provided broad protection against several different strains of influenza when tested both in vitro and in mice.

Most influenza vaccines are designed to stimulate an immune response against another protein found on the surface of the influenza virus called hemagglutinin (HA). However, HA proteins change frequently as the virus evolves. As a result, people must receive a new seasonal influenza vaccination every year to be protected against currently circulating influenza viruses. NA proteins change more slowly than HA proteins and thus could be a good target for an influenza vaccine that provides long-term protection.

In the new study, the researchers took antibody-producing cells from the blood of a volunteer sick with H3N2 influenza and screened for monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies which are designed to bind to a single target. The mAbs the researchers found were tested in the laboratory for their ability to bind to different kinds of influenza proteins. Of 45 mAbs tested, three bound to NA proteins of an H3N2 influenza virus strain. Upon further testing, these three mAbs also bound to NA proteins from multiple other types of influenza viruses.

To see whether these three mAbs could help prevent the influenza virus from infecting mammalian cells, the researchers treated mice with the mAbs and then infected them with different types of influenza viruses. The mAbs inhibited many kinds of NA proteins from different types of influenza viruses, and protected most of the mice from severe influenza infections. Mice given lethal doses of H3N2 influenza virus survived when treated with low doses of the three antibodies.

If additional testing supports these early results, the researchers suggest that these potent mAbs could become the basis for a new antiviral treatment. Additionally, the antibodies could inform development of new influenza vaccines designed to induce similar antibodies that could provide broader and longer-lasting immunity than current HA-based influenza
-end-
This research was supported in part by NIAID Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) contracts (HHSN272201400008C and HHSN272201400006C), and several NIAID grants: R01 AI117287, R21 AI139813, U01 AI141990 and R56 AI117675.

ARTICLE:

Stadlbauer et al. Broadly protective human antibodies that target the active site of influenza virus neuraminidase. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aay0678 (2019).

WHO:

NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is available for comment.

CONTACT:

To schedule interviews, please contact Elizabeth Deatrick, (301) 402-1663, elizabeth.deatrick@nih.gov.

NIAID conducts and supports research--at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide--to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov/.

NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health®


NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Related Influenza Articles from Brightsurf:

Predicting influenza epidemics
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a unique method to predict influenza epidemics by combining several sources of data.

Common cold combats influenza
As the flu season approaches, a strained public health system may have a surprising ally -- the common cold virus.

Scent-sensing cells have a better way to fight influenza
Smell receptors that line the nose get hit by Influenza B just like other cells, but they are able to clear the infection without dying.

New antivirals for influenza and Zika
Leuven researchers have deployed synthetic amyloids to trigger protein misfolding as a strategy to combat the influenza A and Zika virus.

Assessment of deaths from COVID-19, seasonal influenza
Publicly available data were used to analyze the number of deaths from seasonal influenza deaths compared with deaths from COVID-19.

Obesity promotes virulence of influenza
Obesity promotes the virulence of the influenza virus, according to a study conducted in mice published in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Influenza: combating bacterial superinfection with the help of the microbiota
Frenc researchers and from Brazilian (Belo Horizonte), Scottish (Glasgow) and Danish (Copenhagen) laboratories have shown for the first time in mice that perturbation of the gut microbiota caused by the influenza virus favours secondary bacterial superinfection.

Chemists unveil the structure of an influenza B protein
MIT chemists have discovered the structure of an influenza B protein called BM2, a finding that could help researchers design drugs that block the protein and help prevent the virus from spreading.

How proteins help influenza A bind and slice its way to cells
Researchers have provided new insight on how two proteins help influenza A virus particles fight their way to human cells.

Eating elderberries can help minimize influenza symptoms
Conducted by Professor Fariba Deghani, Dr. Golnoosh Torabian and Dr.

Read More: Influenza News and Influenza Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.