No therapies are available for the 50,000 severe and often fatal infections caused each year by rodent-borne hantaviruses, a diverse and globally distributed group of emerging viral agents. Hantaviruses cause two distinct diseases, depending on the agent: hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) in North and South America and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Europe and Asia.
In research published online on March 16 in Science Translational Medicine, Kartik Chandran, Ph.D., Eva Mittler, Ph.D., and other members of the Prometheus consortium identified a monoclonal antibody with potential for neutralizing many different hantaviruses. The researchers chose it from among more than 100 antibodies isolated from Swedish patients who had recovered from infection with Puumala virus, an HFRS-causing hantavirus endemic in northern Europe. This lead antibody recognized a portion of the Puumala virus spike glycoprotein complex that is also found in other hantaviruses: It broadly protected hamsters and voles challenged with hantaviruses responsible for both HCPS and HFRS. The monoclonal antibody appears to be a promising candidate for being developed into a “pan-hantavirus” therapy to protect against outbreaks by known or novel hantaviruses.
Dr. Chandran is professor of microbiology & immunology and the Harold and Muriel Block Faculty Scholar in Virology at Einstein. Dr. Mittler is a research assistant professor of microbiology & immunology at Einstein. The Prometheus consortium includes institutions from seven countries in the Americas, Europe, and Africa, and from academia, government, and industry.
Posted on: Wednesday, March 16, 2022