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An augmented passive immune therapy to treat fulminant bacterial infections.

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  • 1Division of Bacterial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


In the early 1900s, passive immunization/antibody therapy was used to treat a variety of human ailments such as hypoimmunoglobulinemia, cancer and infectious disease. The advent of antibiotic therapy had relegated this type of therapy obsolete for treatment of infectious diseases. Emergence of multi-drug resistant pathogens along with novel monoclonal antibody production techniques has rekindled the interest in passive immunization (PI). An increase in the number of monoclonal antibody patent applications in the recent past suggests a renewed commercial interest in PI. Despite these developments, antibody therapy for infectious diseases has limitations including the need for large or frequent dosages. P4, a 28-amino acid peptide is a multi-lineage cellular activator. P4, along with infectious disease (i.e. Pathogen) specific immunoglobulin, has been shown in vitro and in vivo in mice to potentiate innate immunity. This review will discuss the progress made in passive antibody therapy, the challenges still to be surmounted, and the potential expanded role of an immune-potentiating peptide (bio-molecule) in the quest to utilize and revitalize passive immunization.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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