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Apr 21st, 2020
Multimeric single-domain antibody complexes protect against bunyavirus infections
Paul J Wichgers Schreur Is a corresponding author, Sandra van de Water, Michiel Harmsen, Erick Bermúdez-Méndez, Dubravka Drabek, Frank Grosveld, Kerstin Wernike, Martin Beer, Andrea Aebischer, Olalekan Daramola et al.

The World Health Organization has included three bunyaviruses posing an increasing threat to human health on the Blueprint list of viruses likely to cause major epidemics and for which no, or insufficient countermeasures exist. Here, we describe a broadly applicable strategy, based on llama-derived single-domain antibodies (VHHs), for the development of bunyavirus biotherapeutics. The method was validated using the zoonotic Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) and Schmallenberg virus (SBV), an emerging pathogen of ruminants, as model pathogens. VHH building blocks were assembled into highly potent neutralizing complexes using bacterial superglue technology. The multimeric complexes were shown to reduce and prevent virus-induced morbidity and mortality in mice upon prophylactic administration. Bispecific molecules engineered to present two different VHHs fused to an Fc domain were further shown to be effective upon therapeutic administration. The presented VHH-based technology holds great promise for the development of bunyavirus antiviral therapies.

eLife 2020;9:e52716 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.52716
Apr 28th, 2020
Synthetic antibodies built with bacterial superglue could help fight emerging viruses
Paul J Wichgers Schreur et al.

Antibody building blocks stuck together with bacterial superglue can protect against bunyaviruses, and herald a new approach to developing antibodies to fight emerging viruses.

April 28th 2020
Apr 28th, 2020
THE CORONAVIRUS CZAR: The COVID-19 pandemic has made German virologist Christian Drosten an unlikely cult figure
Kai Kupferschmidt
Science People & Events Coronavirus


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