Characterization of non-neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies that target the M1 and NP of influenza A viruses

Willemijn Frederique Rijnink, Daniel Stadlbauer, Eduard Puente-Massaguer, Nisreen M.A. Okba, Ericka Kirkpatrick Roubidoux, Shirin Strohmeier, Philip A. Mudd, Aaron Schmitz, Ali Ellebedy, Meagan McMahon, Florian Krammer

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Improved broad-spectrum influenza virus vaccines are desperately needed to provide protection against both drifted seasonal and emerging pandemic influenza A viruses (IAVs). Antibody-based protection from influenza A virus-induced morbidity and mortality is traditionally associated with neutralizing antibodies. As such, vaccine efforts have solely focused on the hemagglutinin (HA) as a vaccine target; however, the HA is mutation prone resulting in the need for annual vaccine reformulation. Broad-spectrum vaccines could be achieved through non-neutralizing antibodies that target conserved influenza virus antigens. Here, we describe six human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) isolated from two H3N2-infected donors that showed robust binding against the conserved internal nucleoprotein (NP) or matrix protein 1 (M1) of IAV strains. Despite the capacity for potent antigen binding, substantial morbidity was observed in mice prophylactically treated with these mAbs and then challenged with A Netherlands6022009 (H1N1) or ASwitzerland97152932013 (H3N2) viruses. While our findings need to be confirmed with a larger number of mAbs and with polyclonal serum, these findings suggest that human NP and M1 antibodies that are elicited following IAV infectionvaccination do not protect from substantial weight loss in the mouse model and imply that protection afforded targeting these antigens following vaccinationinfection is most likely the result of cellular-based immunity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • KEYWORDS influenza
  • antibodies
  • matrix protein
  • nucleoprotein


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