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In vitro and in vivo characterization of a new enterovirus type 71-specific human intravenous immunoglobulin manufactured from selected plasma donors.

BACKGROUND: Enterovirus type 71 (EV71) causes large outbreaks with significant mortality among young children, and no specific antiviral treatment is currently available. Antibody-based therapy represents a promising alternative strategy for lethal EV71 infection. Our previous data has shown that anti-EV71 neutralization antibodies were present in a significant proportion of blood donors in China.

OBJECTIVES: To produce a new human intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) product containing high titer anti-EV71 neutralizing antibodies and investigate its therapeutic efficacy against lethal EV71 infection in a murine model.

STUDY DESIGN: Plasma units that contained high titer neutralizing antibodies from selected Chinese donors were pooled and processed into pharmaceutical grade IVIG preparations according to the standard procedure. The efficacy of these EV71-specific IVIG product was characterized in vitro by neutralization assay and in vivo by suckling mouse protection testing. The therapeutic effects against lethal EV71 challenge were further assayed in a suckling mouse model.

RESULTS: About 12% of the normal plasma units were selected and pooled to manufacture the EV71-IVIG preparations, and in vitro and in vivo efficacy data showed that these EV71-specific IVIG preparations were enriched with neutralizing antibodies against EV71. Furthermore, treatment with EV71-specific IVIG was evidenced to confer protection against lethal EV71 challenge in a dose- and time-dependent manner in the suckling mouse model.

CONCLUSIONS: This preclinical study indicates that these "tailor-made" EV71-IVIG preparations manufactured from selected plasma donors in EV71-endemic areas may represent a promising therapeutic option for the lethal EV71 infections, and further clinical trials should be warranted in the future.

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