York, Ian (CDC)
Stevens, James (CDC)
Guo, Zhu (CDC)
H7N9 influenza viruses are predominately avian (bird) pathogens, however, since 2013, they have infected more than 1500 humans with a mortality rate of nearly 40% in confirmed cases. H7N9 viruses continue to be a threat to public health. Treatment for people infected with H7N9-subtype influenza A (H7N9) commonly includes the use of drugs that inhibit neuraminidase, a protein found on the virus’ surface. However, like other influenza viruses, H7N9 can become resistant to these drugs.
CDC researchers have developed a monoclonal antibody (mAb) that binds to the neuraminidase protein of H7N9 influenza viruses, and has been shown in animal studies to provide protection from H7N9 infection. Because this antibody targets a different region of the neuraminidase protein than other antibodies, it is unlikely that H7N9 strains have developed resistance to it, making it an ideal starting point for antibody-based therapy or prevention of H7N9 infection. This technology could be used alone, or in combination with other neuraminidase inhibitor drugs. The antibody can also be useful as a research material. It will need to be humanized in further research.
- Prevention of H7N9 influenza (flu) infection
- Treatment of H7N9 influenza (flu) infection
- Research tool and diagnostic reagent
- Unlikely for virus to develop resistance due to unique binding site of antibody
- Can be used for prevention or treatment
- Currently available mAbs are not reactive with the N9 influenza subtype
- Can be used alone or in combination with other drugs