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1.
Sci Transl Med ; 14(650): eabo5032, 2022 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35731888

ABSTRACT

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a substantial cause of morbidity and mortality globally. A candidate RSV prefusion (pre-F)-stabilized subunit vaccine, DS-Cav1, has previously been shown to elicit potent and durable neutralizing activity in a phase 1 clinical trial in healthy adults. Here, we used fluorescently labeled probes and flow cytometry to evaluate the antigen specificity and phenotype of RSV F-specific B cells longitudinally after DS-Cav1 immunization. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected at time points before the first immunization through the end of the trial at 44 weeks were assessed by flow cytometry. Our data demonstrate a rapid increase in the frequency of pre-F-specific IgG+ and IgA+ B cells after the first immunization and a modest increase after a second immunization at week 12. Nearly all F-specific B cells down-regulated CD21 and up-regulated the proliferation marker CD71 after the first immunization, with less pronounced activation after the second immunization. Memory B cells (CD27+CD21+) specific for pre-F remained elevated above baseline at 44 weeks after vaccination. DS-Cav1 vaccination also activated human metapneumovirus (HMPV) cross-reactive B cells capable of binding prefusion-stabilized HMPV F protein and increased HMPV F-binding antibodies and neutralizing activity for HMPV in some participants. In summary, vaccination with RSV pre-F resulted in the expansion and activation of RSV and HMPV F-specific B cells that were maintained above baseline for at least 10 months and could contribute to long-term pneumovirus immunity.


Subject(s)
Pneumovirus , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/genetics , Viral Fusion Proteins/genetics
2.
J Infect Dis ; 2022 Apr 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35429403

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recurrent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection requiring hospitalization is rare and the underlying mechanism is unknown. We aimed to determine the role of CD14-mediated immunity in the pathogenesis of recurrent RSV infection. METHODS: We performed genotyping and longitudinal immunophenotyping of the first patient with a genetic CD14 deficiency who developed recurrent RSV infection. We analyzed gene expression profiles and IL-6 production by patient PBMC's in response to RSV pre- and post-fusion (F) protein. We generated CD14 deficient human nasal epithelial cells cultured at air-liquid interface (HNEC-ALI) of patient-derived cells, and after CRISPR-based gene editing of control cells. We analyzed viral replication upon RSV infection. RESULTS: Sanger sequencing revealed a homozygous single-nucleotide deletion in CD14, resulting in absence of the CD14 protein in the index patient. In vitro, viral replication was similar in WT and CD14  -/- HNEC-ALI. Loss of immune cell CD14 led to impaired cytokine and chemokine responses to RSV pre- and post-F protein, characterized by absence of IL-6 production. CONCLUSION: We report an association of recurrent RSV bronchiolitis with a loss of CD14 function in immune cells. Lack of CD14 function led to defective immune responses to RSV pre- and post-F protein without a change in viral replication.

3.
Nature ; 603(7902): 687-692, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35062015

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of B.1.1.529, the Omicron variant1,2, has raised concerns of escape from protection by vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. A key test for potential countermeasures against B.1.1.529 is their activity in preclinical rodent models of respiratory tract disease. Here, using the collaborative network of the SARS-CoV-2 Assessment of Viral Evolution (SAVE) programme of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), we evaluated the ability of several B.1.1.529 isolates to cause infection and disease in immunocompetent and human ACE2 (hACE2)-expressing mice and hamsters. Despite modelling data indicating that B.1.1.529 spike can bind more avidly to mouse ACE2 (refs. 3,4), we observed less infection by B.1.1.529 in 129, C57BL/6, BALB/c and K18-hACE2 transgenic mice than by previous SARS-CoV-2 variants, with limited weight loss and lower viral burden in the upper and lower respiratory tracts. In wild-type and hACE2 transgenic hamsters, lung infection, clinical disease and pathology with B.1.1.529 were also milder than with historical isolates or other SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Overall, experiments from the SAVE/NIAID network with several B.1.1.529 isolates demonstrate attenuated lung disease in rodents, which parallels preliminary human clinical data.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Cricetinae , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Viral Load
4.
Front Immunol ; 12: 772864, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34956199

ABSTRACT

Nipah virus (NiV) represents a significant pandemic threat with zoonotic transmission from bats-to-humans with almost annual regional outbreaks characterized by documented human-to-human transmission and high fatality rates. Currently, no vaccine against NiV has been approved. Structure-based design and protein engineering principles were applied to stabilize the fusion (F) protein in its prefusion trimeric conformation (pre-F) to improve expression and increase immunogenicity. We covalently linked the stabilized pre-F through trimerization domains at the C-terminus to three attachment protein (G) monomers, forming a chimeric design. These studies detailed here focus on mRNA delivery of NiV immunogens in mice, assessment of mRNA immunogen-specific design elements and their effects on humoral and cellular immunogenicity. The pre-F/G chimera elicited a strong neutralizing antibody response and a superior NiV-specific Tfh and other effector T cell response compared to G alone across both the mRNA and protein platforms. These findings enabled final candidate selection of pre-F/G Fd for clinical development.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/genetics , Liposomes/administration & dosage , Nanoparticles/administration & dosage , Nipah Virus/immunology , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Fusion Proteins/genetics , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , /administration & dosage , Animals , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Female , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Mice , Public-Private Sector Partnerships , RNA, Messenger/administration & dosage , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology , Viral Fusion Proteins/immunology
5.
Immunity ; 54(8): 1869-1882.e6, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34270939

ABSTRACT

Vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease (VAERD) was previously observed in some preclinical models of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and MERS coronavirus vaccines. We used the SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mouse-adapted, passage 10, lethal challenge virus (MA10) mouse model of acute lung injury to evaluate the immune response and potential for immunopathology in animals vaccinated with research-grade mRNA-1273. Whole-inactivated virus or heat-denatured spike protein subunit vaccines with alum designed to elicit low-potency antibodies and Th2-skewed CD4+ T cells resulted in reduced viral titers and weight loss post challenge but more severe pathological changes in the lung compared to saline-immunized animals. In contrast, a protective dose of mRNA-1273 induced favorable humoral and cellular immune responses that protected from viral replication in the upper and lower respiratory tract upon challenge. A subprotective dose of mRNA-1273 reduced viral replication and limited histopathological manifestations compared to animals given saline. Overall, our findings demonstrate an immunological signature associated with antiviral protection without disease enhancement following vaccination with mRNA-1273.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Biopsy , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunohistochemistry , Mice , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , RNA, Messenger , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage
6.
Science ; 373(6556)2021 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34210892

ABSTRACT

The emergence of highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) that are resistant to therapeutic antibodies highlights the need for continuing discovery of broadly reactive antibodies. We identified four receptor binding domain-targeting antibodies from three early-outbreak convalescent donors with potent neutralizing activity against 23 variants, including the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, B.1.429, B.1.526, and B.1.617 VOCs. Two antibodies are ultrapotent, with subnanomolar neutralization titers [half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) 0.3 to 11.1 nanograms per milliliter; IC80 1.5 to 34.5 nanograms per milliliter). We define the structural and functional determinants of binding for all four VOC-targeting antibodies and show that combinations of two antibodies decrease the in vitro generation of escape mutants, suggesting their potential in mitigating resistance development.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antibody Affinity , Antigen-Antibody Reactions , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/immunology , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/metabolism , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains , Receptors, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
7.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(10): 1111-1120, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33864736

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Multiple active vaccination approaches have proven ineffective in reducing the substantial morbidity and mortality caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants and older adults (aged ≥65 years). A vaccine conferring a substantial and sustainable boost in neutralising activity is required to protect against severe RSV disease. To that end, we evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of DS-Cav1, a prefusion F subunit vaccine. METHODS: In this randomised, open-label, phase 1 clinical trial, the stabilised prefusion F vaccine DS-Cav1 was evaluated for dose, safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity in healthy adults aged 18-50 years at a single US site. Participants were assigned to receive escalating doses of either 50 µg, 150 µg, or 500 µg DS-Cav1 at weeks 0 and 12, and were randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio within each dose group to receive the vaccine with or without aluminium hydroxide (AlOH) adjuvant. After 71 participants had been randomised, the protocol was amended to allow some participants to receive a single vaccination at week 0. The primary objectives evaluated the safety and tolerability at every dose within 28 days following each injection. Neutralising activity and RSV F-binding antibodies were evaluated from week 0 to week 44 as secondary and exploratory objectives. Safety was assessed in all participants who received at least one vaccine dose; secondary and exploratory immunogenicity analysis included all participants with available data at a given visit. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03049488, and is complete and no longer recruiting. FINDINGS: Between Feb 21, 2017, and Nov 29, 2018, 244 participants were screened for eligibility and 95 were enrolled to receive DS-Cav1 at the 50 µg (n=30, of which n=15 with AlOH), 150 µg (n=35, of which n=15 with AlOH), or 500 µg (n=30, of which n=15 with AlOH) doses. DS-Cav1 was safe and well tolerated and no serious vaccine-associated adverse events deemed related to the vaccine were identified. DS-Cav1 vaccination elicited robust neutralising activity and binding antibodies by 4 weeks after a single vaccination (p<0·0001 for F-binding and neutralising antibodies). In analyses of exploratory endpoints at week 44, pre-F-binding IgG and neutralising activity were significantly increased compared with baseline in all groups. At week 44, RSV A neutralising activity was 3·1 fold above baseline in the 50 µg group, 3·8 fold in the 150 µg group, and 4·5 fold in the 500 µg group (p<0·0001). RSV B neutralising activity was 2·8 fold above baseline in the 50 µg group, 3·4 fold in the 150 µg group, and 3·7 fold in the 500 µg group (p<0·0001). Pre-F-binding IgG remained significantly 3·2 fold above baseline in the 50 µg group, 3·4 fold in the 150 µg group, and 4·0 fold in the 500 µg group (p<0·0001). Pre-F-binding serum IgA remained 4·1 fold above baseline in the 50 µg group, 4·3 fold in the 150 µg group, and 4·8 fold in the 500 µg group (p<0·0001). Although a higher vaccine dose or second immunisation elicited a transient advantage compared with lower doses or a single immunisation, neither significantly impacted long-term neutralisation. There was no long-term effect of dose, number of vaccinations, or adjuvant on neutralising activity. INTERPRETATION: In this phase 1 study, DS-Cav1 vaccination was safe and well tolerated. DS-Cav1 vaccination elicited a robust boost in RSV F-specific antibodies and neutralising activity that was sustained above baseline for at least 44 weeks. A single low-dose of pre-F immunisation of antigen-experienced individuals might confer protection that extends throughout an entire RSV season. FUNDING: The National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


Subject(s)
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Infant , Middle Aged , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines/adverse effects , Respiratory Syncytial Viruses , Vaccines, Subunit/adverse effects , Young Adult
8.
bioRxiv ; 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33655252

ABSTRACT

The emergence of highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) that are resistant to therapeutic antibodies highlights the need for continuing discovery of broadly reactive antibodies. We identify four receptor-binding domain targeting antibodies from three early-outbreak convalescent donors with potent neutralizing activity against 12 variants including the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 VOCs. Two of them are ultrapotent, with sub-nanomolar neutralization titers (IC50 <0.0006 to 0.0102 µ g/mL; IC80 < 0.0006 to 0.0251 µ g/mL). We define the structural and functional determinants of binding for all four VOC-targeting antibodies, and show that combinations of two antibodies decrease the in vitro generation of escape mutants, suggesting potential means to mitigate resistance development. These results define the basis of therapeutic cocktails against VOCs and suggest that targeted boosting of existing immunity may increase vaccine breadth against VOCs.

9.
Cell Rep ; 33(4): 108322, 2020 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33091382

ABSTRACT

Biotin-labeled molecular probes, comprising specific regions of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike, would be helpful in the isolation and characterization of antibodies targeting this recently emerged pathogen. Here, we design constructs incorporating an N-terminal purification tag, a site-specific protease-cleavage site, the probe region of interest, and a C-terminal sequence targeted by biotin ligase. Probe regions include full-length spike ectodomain as well as various subregions, and we also design mutants that eliminate recognition of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Yields of biotin-labeled probes from transient transfection range from ∼0.5 mg/L for the complete ectodomain to >5 mg/L for several subregions. Probes are characterized for antigenicity and ACE2 recognition, and the structure of the spike ectodomain probe is determined by cryoelectron microscopy. We also characterize antibody-binding specificities and cell-sorting capabilities of the biotinylated probes. Altogether, structure-based design coupled to efficient purification and biotinylation processes can thus enable streamlined development of SARS-CoV-2 spike ectodomain probes.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Molecular Probes/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibody Specificity/immunology , Binding Sites, Antibody/immunology , Biotinylation , COVID-19 , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism
10.
Nature ; 586(7830): 567-571, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32756549

ABSTRACT

A vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is needed to control the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic. Structural studies have led to the development of mutations that stabilize Betacoronavirus spike proteins in the prefusion state, improving their expression and increasing immunogenicity1. This principle has been applied to design mRNA-1273, an mRNA vaccine that encodes a SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that is stabilized in the prefusion conformation. Here we show that mRNA-1273 induces potent neutralizing antibody responses to both wild-type (D614) and D614G mutant2 SARS-CoV-2 as well as CD8+ T cell responses, and protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the lungs and noses of mice without evidence of immunopathology. mRNA-1273 is currently in a phase III trial to evaluate its efficacy.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mutation , Nose/immunology , Nose/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Th1 Cells/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 4/agonists , Toll-Like Receptor 4/immunology , Viral Vaccines/chemistry , Viral Vaccines/genetics
11.
N Engl J Med ; 383(16): 1544-1555, 2020 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32722908

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccines to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are urgently needed. The effect of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines on viral replication in both upper and lower airways is important to evaluate in nonhuman primates. METHODS: Nonhuman primates received 10 or 100 µg of mRNA-1273, a vaccine encoding the prefusion-stabilized spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, or no vaccine. Antibody and T-cell responses were assessed before upper- and lower-airway challenge with SARS-CoV-2. Active viral replication and viral genomes in bronchoalveolar-lavage (BAL) fluid and nasal swab specimens were assessed by polymerase chain reaction, and histopathological analysis and viral quantification were performed on lung-tissue specimens. RESULTS: The mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate induced antibody levels exceeding those in human convalescent-phase serum, with live-virus reciprocal 50% inhibitory dilution (ID50) geometric mean titers of 501 in the 10-µg dose group and 3481 in the 100-µg dose group. Vaccination induced type 1 helper T-cell (Th1)-biased CD4 T-cell responses and low or undetectable Th2 or CD8 T-cell responses. Viral replication was not detectable in BAL fluid by day 2 after challenge in seven of eight animals in both vaccinated groups. No viral replication was detectable in the nose of any of the eight animals in the 100-µg dose group by day 2 after challenge, and limited inflammation or detectable viral genome or antigen was noted in lungs of animals in either vaccine group. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination of nonhuman primates with mRNA-1273 induced robust SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing activity, rapid protection in the upper and lower airways, and no pathologic changes in the lung. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/physiology , CD4 Antigens , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Disease Models, Animal , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Immunization, Passive , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Macaca mulatta , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Viral Load , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Virus Replication
12.
bioRxiv ; 2020 Jun 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32577634

ABSTRACT

A SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is needed to control the global COVID-19 public health crisis. Atomic-level structures directed the application of prefusion-stabilizing mutations that improved expression and immunogenicity of betacoronavirus spike proteins. Using this established immunogen design, the release of SARS-CoV-2 sequences triggered immediate rapid manufacturing of an mRNA vaccine expressing the prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike trimer (mRNA-1273). Here, we show that mRNA-1273 induces both potent neutralizing antibody and CD8 T cell responses and protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection in lungs and noses of mice without evidence of immunopathology. mRNA-1273 is currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial with a trajectory towards Phase 3 efficacy evaluation.

13.
Science ; 365(6452): 505-509, 2019 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31371616

ABSTRACT

Technologies that define the atomic-level structure of neutralization-sensitive epitopes on viral surface proteins are transforming vaccinology and guiding new vaccine development approaches. Previously, iterative rounds of protein engineering were performed to preserve the prefusion conformation of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) fusion (F) glycoprotein, resulting in a stabilized subunit vaccine candidate (DS-Cav1), which showed promising results in mice and macaques. Here, phase I human immunogenicity data reveal a more than 10-fold boost in neutralizing activity in serum from antibodies targeting prefusion-specific surfaces of RSV F. These findings represent a clinical proof of concept for structure-based vaccine design, suggest that development of a successful RSV vaccine will be feasible, and portend an era of precision vaccinology.


Subject(s)
Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines/chemistry , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines/immunology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/immunology , Viral Fusion Proteins/chemistry , Viral Fusion Proteins/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Epitope Mapping , Humans , Middle Aged , Young Adult
14.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 7(1)2019 Feb 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30813394

ABSTRACT

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes substantial morbidity and mortality in children and older adults. An effective vaccine must elicit neutralizing antibodies targeting the RSV fusion (F) protein, which exists in two major conformations, pre-fusion (pre-F) and post-fusion (post-F). Although 50% of the surface is shared, pre-F contains highly neutralization-sensitive antigenic sites not present on post-F. Recent advancement of several subunit F-based vaccine trials has spurred interest in quantifying and understanding the protective potential of antibodies directed to individual antigenic sites. Monoclonal antibody competition ELISAs are being used to measure these endpoints, but the impact of F conformation and competition from antibodies binding to adjacent antigenic sites has not been thoroughly investigated. Since this information is critical for interpreting clinical trial outcomes and defining serological correlates of protection, we optimized assays to evaluate D25-competing antibodies (DCA) to antigenic site Ø on pre-F, and compared readouts of palivizumab-competing antibodies (PCA) to site II on both pre-F and post-F. We show that antibodies to adjacent antigenic sites can contribute to DCA and PCA readouts, and that cross-competition from non-targeted sites is especially confounding when PCA is measured using a post-F substrate. While measuring DCA and PCA levels may be useful to delineate the role of antibodies targeting the apex and side of the F protein, respectively, the assay limitations and caveats should be considered when conducting immune monitoring during vaccine trials and defining correlates of protection.

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