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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 838491, 21 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/838491
Review Article

Possible Future Monoclonal Antibody (mAb)-Based Therapy against Arbovirus Infections

Laboratorio di Microbiologia e Virologia, Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, 20132 Milano, Italy

Received 10 May 2013; Revised 5 July 2013; Accepted 11 July 2013

Academic Editor: Aldo Manzin

Copyright © 2013 Giuseppe Sautto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

More than 150 arboviruses belonging to different families are known to infect humans, causing endemic infections as well as epidemic outbreaks. Effective vaccines to limit the occurrence of some of these infections have been licensed, while for the others several new immunogens are under development mostly for their improvements concerning safety and effectiveness profiles. On the other hand, specific and effective antiviral drugs are not yet available, posing an urgent medical need in particular for emergency cases. Neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of several infectious diseases as well as in preliminary in vitro and in vivo models of arbovirus-related infections. Given their specific antiviral activity as well-tolerated molecules with limited side effects, mAbs could represent a new therapeutic approach for the development of an effective treatment, as well as useful tools in the study of the host-virus interplay and in the development of more effective immunogens. However, before their use as candidate therapeutics, possible hurdles (e.g., Ab-dependent enhancement of infection, occurrence of viral escape variants) must be carefully evaluated. In this review are described the main arboviruses infecting humans and candidate mAbs to be possibly used in a future passive immunotherapy.