Lyssaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses that cause rabies and rabies-like diseases in mammals. According to the World Health Organization, human rabies caused by the classical rabies virus continues to be almost 100% fatal once clinical symptoms of rabies appear, with no specific treatment available anywhere in the world.
CDC researchers have identified lyssavirus-specific antibodies for the treatment and prevention of rabies in humans post-exposure. They have also developed a method using a naïve antibody phage display library to identify phage clones that bind recombinant rabies virus or cells from multiple lyssaviruses. The sequence of domain antibodies specific for lyssaviruses can be used to engineer a monoclonal antibody for targeting in human rabies post-exposure prophylaxis or antiviral therapy of clinical rabies (when a patient manifests with rabies symptoms such as headache, confusion, agitation, delirium, etc.). This technology also offers the support to improve the spectrum of biological activity against non-rabies lyssaviruses.
- Antibodies can be used directly in rabies post-exposure prophylaxis or antiviral therapy of clinical rabies
- Method offers support to improve the spectrum of biological activity against non-rabies lyssaviruses
- Antibody phage library can be used for additional research
- Currently, there are no specific treatments available to treat and cure clinical rabies after the onset of symptoms
- Commercial anti-rabies immune globulins (Ig) do not neutralize other lyssaviruses, such as Lagos Bat, Mokola (MOK) and West Caucasian Bat viruses (WCBV)