Research ArticleEMERGING INFECTIONS

A lipid-encapsulated mRNA encoding a potently neutralizing human monoclonal antibody protects against chikungunya infection

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Science Immunology  17 May 2019:
Vol. 4, Issue 35, eaaw6647
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aaw6647

mRNA-based passive immunotherapy

Passive transfer of neutralizing antibodies can protect against disease caused by chikungunya virus, an emerging mosquito-borne pathogen. However, effective treatment of chikungunya-infected patients with symptomatic disease using antibodies will require identification of high-potency immunoglobulins and an efficient platform for delivering them to patients. Kose et al. screened immortalized human B cells from a chikungunya survivor and identified a monoclonal IgG antibody with exceptional neutralizing capacity. Intravenous injection of a lipid nanoparticle–encapsulated mRNA molecule encoding this antibody protected mice against viral infection and virus-associated arthritis and also induced protective concentrations of serum antibody in macaques. The preclinical results achieved in this study paved the way for the start of translational clinical trials of mRNA-based passive immunotherapy for human chikungunya infection.

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