Nature communications

Human monoclonal antibodies targeting the haemagglutinin glycoprotein can neutralize H7N9 influenza virus.

PMID 25819694


The recently identified avian-originated influenza H7N9 virus causes severe pulmonary disease and may lead to death in humans. Currently, treatment options for the prevention and control of fatal H7N9 infections in humans remain limited. Here we characterize two human monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs), HNIgGA6 and HNIgGB5, by screening a Fab antibody phage library derived from patients who recovered from H7N9 infection. Both antibodies exhibit high neutralizing activity against H7N9 virus in cells. Two amino acids in the receptor-binding site, 186V and 226L, are crucial for the binding of these two HuMAbs to viral haemagglutinin antigens. Prophylaxis with HNIgGA6 and HNIgGB5 confers significant immunity against H7N9 virus in a mouse model and significantly reduces the pulmonary virus titre. When administered post infection, therapeutic doses of the HuMAbs also provide robust protection against lethality. These antibodies might represent a potential alternative or adjunct to H7N9 pandemic interventions.