The family of coronaviruses cause upper respiratory tract disease in humans and have caused three major disease outbreaks in recent history: the 2003 SARS outbreak, the 2012 MERS outbreak, and the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. There is an urgent need for strategies that broadly target coronaviruses, both to deal with new SARS-CoV-2 variants and future coronavirus outbreaks.
Scientists at NIAID have developed several novel human monoclonal antibodies that bind to conserved parts of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. These antibodies can neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern including Omicron BA.1 and BA.2, as well as neutralize at least one other betacoronavirus. Further, these antibodies limit disease in animal models. Broadly reactive antibodies against coronaviruses are useful tools to identify conserved sites on the coronavirus spike protein, which could be investigated for the development of broad coronavirus vaccines that aim to prevent future pandemics. Potent neutralizers that target these sites could also be useful for prevention of disease caused by diverse coronaviruses, including those that may emerge in the future.
- Prophylactic usage against SARS-CoV-2 and/or other betacoronaviruses in normal or high-risk populations
- Therapeutic treatment, alone or in combination, in patients with SARS-CoV-2 and/or other betacoronaviruses infections
- Assay development for surveillance, diagnostic, and prevention measures
- Antibodies can neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Omicron BA.1 and BA.2
- Antibodies can broadly target and neutralize betacoronaviruses