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Front Immunol. 2019 Mar 29;10:706. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00706. eCollection 2019.

Antigenic Site-Specific Competitive Antibody Responses to the Fusion Protein of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Were Associated With Viral Clearance in Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Adults.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, United States.
2
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States.
3
Departments of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control and Employee Health, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, United States.
4
Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, United States.

Abstract

Background: Recent studies of human sera showed that the majority of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) neutralizing antibodies are directed against pre-fusion conformation of the fusion (F) protein of RSV and revealed the importance of pre-fusion antigenic site Ø specific antibodies. However, detailed analysis of multiple antigenic site-specific competitive antibody responses to RSV F protein and their contribution to virus clearance in humans are lacking. Methods: We prospectively enrolled a cohort of RSV infected hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) adults (n = 40). Serum samples were collected at enrollment (acute, n = 40) and 14 to 60 days post-enrollment (convalescent, n = 40). Antigenic site-specific F protein antibodies were measured against pre-fusion site Ø, post-fusion site I, and sites II and IV present in both the pre-fusion and post-fusion F protein conformations utilizing four different competitive antibody assays developed with biotinylated monoclonal antibodies (mAb) D25, 131-2A, palivizumab, and 101F, respectively. The lower limit of detection were 7.8 and 1.0 μg/mL for the competitive antibody assays that measured site Ø specific response, as well as sites I, II, and IV specific responses, respectively. Neutralizing antibody titers to RSV A and B subgroups was determined by microneutralization assays. Results: The overall findings in RSV infected HCT adults revealed: (1) a significant increase in antigenic site-specific competitive antibodies in convalescent sera except for site Ø competitive antibody (p < 0.01); (2) comparable concentrations in the acute and convalescent serum samples of antigenic site-specific competitive antibodies between RSV/A and RSV/B infected HCT adults (p > 0.05); (3) significantly increased concentrations of the antigenic site-specific competitive antibodies in HCT adults who had genomic RSV detected in the upper respiratory tract for <14 days compared to those for ≥14 days (p < 0.01); and (4) statistically significant correlation between the antigenic site-specific competitive antibody concentrations and neutralizing antibody titers against RSV/A and RSV/B (r ranged from 0.33 to 0.83 for acute sera, and 0.50-0.88 for convalescent sera; p < 0.05). Conclusions: In RSV infected HCT adults, antigenic site-specific antibody responses were induced against multiple antigenic sites found in both the pre-fusion and post-fusion F conformations, and were associated with a more rapid viral clearance and neutralizing antibody activity. However, the association is not necessarily the cause and the consequence.

KEYWORDS:

competitive antibody; fusion protein; hematopoietic cell transplantation; respiratory syncytial virus; viral clearance

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