A study reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine has found that a monoclonal antibody provides significant protection against two members of a virus family of Filoviridae -- Marburg and Ravn viruses.
Like some other viruses that belong to the virus family of Filoviridae, Marburg and Ravn viruses can cause hemorrhagic fever in human beings with high morbidity rates. For the present study, the team, led by researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, and Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., evaluated the ability of previously identified human monoclonal antibodies to protect guinea pigs from lethal infection. In further experiments, one of these antibodies, MR191-N, was given to nonhuman primates five days after Marburg or Ravn infection. Results showed that MR191-N attenuated symptoms, suggesting the antibody as a potential therapeutic agent for Marbur, Ravn and perhaps other filoviruses.
One of the most well known filoviruses, Ebola virus, becomes a big health concern. Marburg virus, which also belongs to the virus family of Filoviridae, is also very fatal: the mortality of Marburg infections is as high as 80%.
Monoclonal antibodies have emerged as an attractive option for many human diseases, especially autoimmune disorders and cancers. To date, over 45 monoclonal antibodies have been approved by the FDA and EMA.
This study demonstrated in rhesus macaques that the monoclonal antibody MR191-N protected all animals infected with Marburg or Ravn virus even when the antibody was administrated five days after the animals were exposed to the virus. This supports that monoclonal antibodies has the ability to protect against lethal viruses during advanced stages of disease. thus monoclonal antibodies may be a powerful weapon in the fight against virus outbreaks.
Marburg virus, the pathogen responsible for Marburg virus disease (MVD) (formerly known as Marburg haemorrhagic fever), poses a significant threat to human health. Its close cousin Ravn virus can also cause hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. (Cusabio provides various antibodies.)