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Monoclonal Promising to Prevent, Treat Avian Influenza

Antibody treatment protects mice against avian influenza infection

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Humanized monoclonal antibodies against avian influenza virus H5N1 can prevent infection in mice when given before lethal challenge and are an effective treatment after infection with the virus, according to a report published online Oct. 14 in Respiratory Research.

Brendon J. Hanson, of the DSO National Laboratories in Singapore, and colleagues investigated the effects of two slightly different humanized neutralizing monoclonal antibodies, VN04-2-huG1 and VN04-3-huG1. Mice were injected with the antibodies in 1, 5 or 10 mg/kg doses one day before and one and three days after they received lethal doses of H5N1.

While both antibodies were effective in preventing infection, the researchers found that VN04-2-huG1 required only 1 mg/kg for total protection against H5N1 infection. The antibody also totally protected the mice against the virus when it was given in higher doses one day (5 or 10 mg/kg) or three days (10 mg/kg) after challenge. The second antibody, VN04-3-huG1, was protective for disease only at the 5 or 10 mg/kg doses given one day before challenge.

"Prophylaxis and treatment using neutralizing humanized monoclonal antibodies is efficacious against lethal challenge with A/Vietnam/1203/04, providing proof of principle for the use of passive antibody therapy as a containment option in the event of pandemic influenza," the authors conclude.

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