Passive protection against lethal enterovirus 71 infection in newborn mice by neutralizing antibodies elicited by a synthetic peptide

Damian Guang Wei Foo, Sylvie Alonso, Vincent Tak Kwong Chow, Chit Laa Poh
Microbes and Infection 2007, 9 (11): 1299-306
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) infections could lead to high mortalities and neither vaccine nor therapeutic treatment is available. We investigated vaccination with a synthetic peptide SP70 representing a neutralizing linear VP1 epitope of EV71 strain 41 (subgenogroup B4) and passive transfer of anti-SP70 antibodies to protect suckling Balb/c mice against EV71 infectivity. When the mouse anti-SP70 antisera with a neutralizing antibody titer of 1:32 were passively administered to one-day-old suckling mice which had been challenged with a lethal dose of 1000 TCID(50) per mouse, the neutralizing anti-SP70 antibodies were able to confer 80% in vivo protection. In contrast, suckling mice which did not receive any anti-SP70 antisera did not survive the viral challenge at day 21 postinfection. Histological examination and real-time RT-PCR assays revealed viral infiltration in small intestines of EV71-infected mice. Interestingly, anti-SP70 antibodies play a major role in the inhibition of EV71 replication in vivo and significantly reduced the viral titer. In conclusion, EV71-neutralizing antibodies elicited by the synthetic peptide SP70 were able to confer good in vivo passive protection against homologous and heterologous EV71 strains in suckling Balb/c mice.

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