Certain arenaviruses that circulate in rodent populations can cause life-threatening hemorrhagic fevers when they infect humans. Due to their efficient transmission, arenaviruses pose a severe risk for outbreaks and might be exploited as biological weapons. Effective countermeasures against these viruses are highly desired. Ideally, a single remedy would be effective against many or even all the pathogenic viruses in this family. However, despite the fact that all pathogenic arenaviruses from South America utilize transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1) as a cellular receptor, their viral glycoproteins are highly diversified, impeding efforts to isolate cross-neutralizing antibodies. Here we address this problem using a rational design approach to target TfR1-tropic arenaviruses with high potency and breadth. The pan-reactive molecule is highly effective against all arenaviruses that were tested, offering a universal therapeutic approach. Our design scheme avoids the shortcomings of previous immunoadhesins and can be used to combat other zoonotic pathogens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Physics and Astronomy