Recent successes with monoclonal antibody cocktails ZMapp TM and MIL77 against Ebola virus (EBOV) infections have reignited interest in antibody-based therapeutics. Since the production process for monoclonal antibodies can be prolonged and costly, alternative treatments should be investigated. We produced purified equine antisera from horses hyperimmunized with EBOV virus-like particles, and tested the post-exposure efficacy of the antisera in a mouse model of infection. BALB/c mice were given up to 2 mg of purified equine antisera per animal, at 30 minutes, 1 or 2 days post-infection (dpi), in which all animals survived. To decrease the possibility of serum sickness, the equine antisera was digested with pepsin to generate F(ab′) 2 fragments, with in vitro neutralizing activity comparable to whole immunoglobulin. Full protection was achieved with when treatment was initiated at 1 dpi, but the suboptimal protection observed with the 30 minute and 2 dpi groups demonstrate that in addition to virus neutralization, other Fc-dependent antibody mechanisms may also contribute to survival. Guinea pigs given 20 mg of antisera or F(ab′) 2 at or starting at 1 or 2 dpi were also fully protected from EBOV infection. These results justify future efficacy studies for purified equine products in NHPs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas