Influenza viruses of the H1N1, H2N2, and H3N2 subtypes have caused previous pandemics. H2 influenza viruses represent a pandemic threat due to continued circulation in wild birds and limited immunity in the human population. In the event of a pandemic, antiviral agents are the mainstay for treatment, but broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) may be a viable alternative for short-term prophylaxis or treatment. The hemagglutinin stem binding bNAbs CR6261 and CR9114 have been shown to protect mice from severe disease following challenge with H1N1 and H5N1 and with H1N1, H3N2, and influenza B viruses, respectively. Early studies with CR6261 and CR9114 showed weak in vitro activity against human H2 influenza viruses, but the in vivo efficacy against H2 viruses is unknown. Therefore, we evaluated these antibodies against human- and animal-origin H2 viruses A/Ann Arbor/6/1960 (H2N2) (AA60) and A/swine/MO/4296424/ 06 (H2N3) (Sw06). In vitro, CR6261 neutralized both H2 viruses, while CR9114 only neutralized Sw06. To evaluate prophylactic efficacy, mice were given CR6261 or CR9114 and intranasally challenged 24 h later with lethal doses of AA60 or Sw06. Both antibodies reduced mortality, weight loss, airway inflammation, and pulmonary viral load. Using engineered bNAb variants, antibody-mediated cell cytotoxicity reporter assays, and Fcγ receptor-deficient (Fcer1g-/-) mice, we show that the in vivo efficacy of CR9114 against AA60 is mediated by Fcγ receptor-dependent mechanisms. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the in vivo efficacy of CR6261 and CR9114 against H2 viruses and emphasize the need for in vivo evaluation of bNAbs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science