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J Virol. 2004 May;78(9):4665-74.

Identification of chimpanzee Fab fragments by repertoire cloning and production of a full-length humanized immunoglobulin G1 antibody that is highly efficient for neutralization of dengue type 4 virus.

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Molecular Viral Biology Section, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


A safe and effective dengue vaccine is still not available. Passive immunization with monoclonal antibodies from humans or nonhuman primates represents an attractive alternative for the prevention of dengue virus infection. Fab monoclonal antibodies to dengue type 4 virus (DENV-4) were recovered by repertoire cloning of bone marrow mRNAs from an immune chimpanzee and analyzed for antigen binding specificity, V(H) and V(L) sequences, and neutralizing activity against DENV-4 in vitro. Fabs 5A7, 3C1, 3E4, and 7G4 were isolated from a library constructed from a chimpanzee following intrahepatic transfection with infectious DENV-4 RNA. Fabs 5H2 and 5D9, which had nearly identical V(H) sequences but varied in their V(L) sequences, were recovered from a library constructed from the same chimpanzee after superinfection with a mixture of DENV-1, DENV-2, and DENV-3. In radioimmunoprecipitation, Fab 5A7 precipitated only DENV-4 prM, and Fabs 3E4, 7G4, 5D9, and 5H2 precipitated DENV-4 E but little or no prM. Fab 3E4 and Fab 7G4 competed with each other for binding to DENV-4 in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, as did Fab 3C1 and Fab 5A7. Fab 5H2 recognized an epitope on DENV-4 that was separate from the epitope(s) recognized by other Fabs. Both Fab 5H2 and Fab 5D9 neutralized DENV-4 efficiently with a titer of 0.24 to 0.58 micro g/ml by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT), whereas DENV-4-neutralizing activity of other Fabs was low or not detected. Fab 5H2 was converted to full-length immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) by combining it with human sequences. The humanized chimpanzee antibody IgG1 5H2 produced in CHO cells neutralized DENV-4 strains from different geographical origins at a similar 50% plaque reduction (PRNT(50)) titer of 0.03 to 0.05 micro g/ml. The DENV-4 binding affinities were 0.42 nM for Fab 5H2 and 0.24 nM for full-length IgG1 5H2. Monoclonal antibody IgG1 5H2 may prove valuable for passive immunoprophylaxis against dengue virus in humans.

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