Development of broadly neutralizing antibodies targeting the cytomegalovirus subdominant antigen gH

Andrea J. Parsons, Sabrina I. Ophir, J. Andrew Duty, Thomas A. Kraus, Kathryn R. Stein, Thomas M. Moran, Domenico Tortorella

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4 Scopus citations


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a β-herpesvirus that increases morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised individuals including transplant recipients and newborns. New anti-HCMV therapies are an urgent medical need for diverse patient populations. HCMV infection of a broad range of host tissues is dependent on the gH/gL/gO trimer and gH/gL/UL28/UL130/UL131A pentamer complexes on the viral envelope. We sought to develop safe and effective therapeutics against HCMV by generating broadly-neutralizing, human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from VelocImmune® mice immunized with gH/gL cDNA. Following high-throughput binding and neutralization screening assays, 11 neutralizing antibodies were identified with unique CDR3 regions and a high-affinity (KD 1.4-65 nM) to the pentamer complex. The antibodies bound to distinct regions within Domains 1 and 2 of gH and effectively neutralized diverse clinical strains in physiologically relevant cell types including epithelial cells, trophoblasts, and monocytes. Importantly, combined adminstration of mAbs with ganciclovir, an FDA approved antiviral, greatly limited virus dissemination. Our work identifies several anti-gH/gL mAbs and sheds light on gH neutralizing epitopes that can guide future vaccine strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number387
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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