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Antiviral Res. 2000 Aug;47(2):57-77.

Antibodies for the prevention and treatment of viral diseases.

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Virology Branch, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 6700B Rockledge Drive, MSC-7630, Bethesda, MD 20892-7630, USA.


This paper reviews current use and evolving role of polyclonal and monoclonal antibody products for the prevention and treatment of viral diseases. Antibodies continue to be indicated for prophylaxis either prior to an anticipated exposure especially in situations of travel, or more commonly following an exposure. The predominant indication for use of antibody products is to prevent infection. With the availability of vaccines for the prevention of chickenpox, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, measles, rabies and smallpox, the role of passive immunization is reserved for susceptible individuals and those at high risk for complications of infection. Risks of transmission of infections associated with use of human plasma-derived products have been reduced by improvements in donor screening and virus removal and inactivation procedures. An additional safety concern has been addressed by the removal of thimerosal as a preservative. Within the last 5 years, two antibodies have been licensed for a viral indication, RespiGam and Synagis both for prevention of respiratory syncytial virus infection. RespiGam is a human plasma derived antibody and Synagis is a humanized monoclonal antibody, the first such antibody to be licensed for an infectious disease indication. CytoGam for prevention of cytomegalovirus infection in kidney transplant patients has recently been granted an expanded indication to include use in lung, liver, pancreas and heart transplant patients. As the use of therapeutics becomes more sophisticated, researchers may find better ways of using antibody products.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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