Evaluation of candidate vaccine approaches for MERS-CoV
Authors: Wang, Lingshu; Shi, Wei; Joyce, M. Gordon; Modjarrad, Kayvon; Zhang, Yi; Leung, Kwanyee; Lees, Christopher R.; Zhou, Tongqing; Yassine, Hadi M.; Kanekiyo, Masaru; Yang, Zhi-yong; Chen, Xuejun; Becker, Michelle M.; Freeman, Megan; Vogel, Leatrice; Johnson, Joshua C.; Olinger, Gene; Todd, John P.; Bagci, Ulas; Solomon, Jeffrey; Mollura, Daniel J.; Hensley, Lisa; Jahrling, Peter; Denison, Mark R.; Rao, Srinivas S.; Subbarao, Kanta; Kwong, Peter D.; Mascola, John R.; Kong, Wing-Pui; Graham, Barney S.
The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) as a cause of severe respiratory disease highlights the need for effective approaches to CoV vaccine development. Efforts focused solely on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral Spike (S) glycoprotein may not optimize neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses. Here we show that immunogens based on full-length S DNA and S1 subunit protein elicit robust serumneutralizing activity against several MERS-CoV strains in mice and non-human primates. Serological analysis and isolation of murine monoclonal antibodies revealed that immunization elicits NAbs to RBD and, non-RBD portions of S1 and S2 subunit. Multiple neutralization mechanisms were demonstrated by solving the atomic structure of a NAb-RBD complex, through sequencing of neutralization escape viruses and by constructing MERS-CoV S variants for serological assays. Immunization of rhesus macaques confers protection against MERS-CoV-induced radiographic pneumonia, as assessed using computerized tomography, supporting this strategy as a promising approach for MERS-CoV vaccine development.
A novel neutralizing monoclonal antibody targeting the N-terminal domain of the MERS-CoV spike protein
EMERGING MICROBES & INFECTIONS
Authors: Chen, Yingzhu; Lu, Shuai; Jia, Hao; Deng, Yao; Zhou, Jianfang; Huang, Baoying; Yu, Yueyang; Lan, Jiaming; Wang, Wenling; Lou, Yongliang; Qin, Kun; Tan, Wenjie
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has caused fatal infections, some through hospital-acquired transmission, in affected regions since its emergence in 2012. Although the virus is not pandemic among humans, it poses a great threat to public health due to its zoonotic origin. Thus, both preventative and therapeutic countermeasures are urgently needed. In this study, we discovered a panel of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against MERS-CoV, which mapped to a wide range of regions on the spike (S) protein of the virus. In addition to mAbs with neutralizing epitopes located on the receptor-binding domain, one mAb, 5F9, which binds to the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the MERS-CoV S1 subunit, showed efficient neutralizing activity against the wild-type MERS-CoV strain EMC/2012, with a half maximal inhibitory concentration of 0.2 mu g/mL. We concluded that a novel neutralizing epitope for MERS-CoV also resides on the NTD of the S protein, indicating that the NTD might be important during the viral infection process. Our findings have significant implications for further vaccine design and for the development of prophylactic and therapeutic monoclonal immunotherapies against MERS-CoV infection.