Most strains of Ebola virus cause a rapidly fatal hemorrhagic disease in humans, yet there are still no biologic explanations that adequately account for the extreme virulence of these emerging pathogens. Here we show that Ebola Zaire virus infection in humans induces antibodies that enhance viral infectivity. Plasma or serum from convalescing patients enhanced the infection of primate kidney cells by the Zaire virus, and this enhancement was mediated by antibodies to the viral glycoprotein and by complement component C1q. Our results suggest a novel mechanism of antibody-dependent enhancement of Ebola virus infection, one that would account for the dire outcome of Ebola outbreaks in human populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science