Widespread drug resistance due to empiric use of broad-spectrum antibiotics has stimulated development of bacteria-specific strategies for prophylaxis and therapy based on modern monoclonal antibody (mAb) technologies. However, single-mechanism mAb approaches have not provided adequate protective activity in the clinic. We constructed multifunctional bispecific antibodies, each conferring three mechanisms of action against the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa by targeting the serotype-independent type III secretion system (injectisome) virulence factor PcrV and persistence factor Psl exopolysaccharide. A new bispecific antibody platform, BiS4, exhibited superior synergistic protection against P. aeruginosa-induced murine pneumonia compared to parent mAb combinations or other available bispecific antibody structures. BiS4?Pa was protective in several mouse infection models against disparate P. aeruginosa strains and unexpectedly further synergized with multiple antibiotic classes even against drug-resistant clinical isolates. In addition to resulting in a multimechanistic clinical candidate (MEDI3902) for the prevention or treatment of P. aeruginosa infections, these antibody studies suggest that multifunctional antibody approaches may be a promising platform for targeting other antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a leading cause of hospital-associated infections in the seriously ill, and the primary agent of chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients. A major obstacle to effective control of P. aeruginosa infections is its intrinsic resistance to most antibiotic classes, which results from chromosomally encoded drug-efflux systems and multiple acquired resistance mechanisms selected by years of aggressive antibiotic therapy. These factors demand new strategies and drugs to prevent and treat P. aeruginosa infections. Herein, we describe a monoclonal antibody (mAb) selection strategy on whole P. aeruginosa cells using single-chain variable fragment phage libraries derived from healthy individuals and patients convalescing from P. aeruginosa infections. This approach enabled identification of mAbs that bind three distinct epitopes on the product of the Psl. This exopolysaccharide is important for P. aeruginosa attachment to mammalian cells, and for the formation and maintenance of biofilms produced by nonmucoid and mucoid P. aeruginosa isolates. Functional screens revealed that mAbs to one epitope exhibit superior activity in opsonophagocytic killing and cell attachment assays, and confer significant protection in multiple animal models. Our results indicate that Psl is an accessible serotype-independent surface feature and promising novel protective antigen for preventing P. aeruginosa infections. Furthermore, our mAb discovery strategy holds promise for application to other bacterial pathogens.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common respiratory pathogen in infants and the older population, causes pulmonary inflammation and airway occlusion that leads to impairment of lung function. Here, we have established a role for receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) in RSV infection. RAGE-deficient (ager(-/-)) mice were protected from RSV-induced weight loss and inflammation. This protection correlated with an early increase in type I interferons, later decreases in proinflammatory cytokines, and a reduction in viral load. To assess the contribution of soluble RAGE (sRAGE) to RSV-induced disease, wild-type and ager(-/-) mice were given doses of sRAGE following RSV infection. Of interest, sRAGE treatment prevented RSV-induced weight loss and neutrophilic inflammation to a degree similar to that observed in ager(-/-) mice. Our work further elucidates the roles of RAGE in the pathogenesis of respiratory infections and highlights the opposing roles of membrane and sRAGE in modulating the host response to RSV infection.
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