Highly conserved protective epitopes on influenza B viruses

Science. 2012 Sep 14;337(6100):1343-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1222908. Epub 2012 Aug 9.


Identification of broadly neutralizing antibodies against influenza A viruses has raised hopes for the development of monoclonal antibody-based immunotherapy and "universal" vaccines for influenza. However, a substantial part of the annual flu burden is caused by two cocirculating, antigenically distinct lineages of influenza B viruses. Here, we report human monoclonal antibodies, CR8033, CR8071, and CR9114, that protect mice against lethal challenge from both lineages. Antibodies CR8033 and CR8071 recognize distinct conserved epitopes in the head region of the influenza B hemagglutinin (HA), whereas CR9114 binds a conserved epitope in the HA stem and protects against lethal challenge with influenza A and B viruses. These antibodies may inform on development of monoclonal antibody-based treatments and a universal flu vaccine for all influenza A and B viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / chemistry
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / chemistry
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / chemistry
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / immunology*
  • Influenza B virus / immunology*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / prevention & control*
  • Protein Conformation


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus
  • Immunodominant Epitopes
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • hemagglutinin HA1, influenza B virus

Associated data

  • GENBANK/JX213635
  • GENBANK/JX213636
  • GENBANK/JX213637
  • GENBANK/JX213638
  • GENBANK/JX213639
  • GENBANK/JX213640
  • PDB/4FQH
  • PDB/4FQI
  • PDB/4FQJ
  • PDB/4FQK
  • PDB/4FQL
  • PDB/4FQM
  • PDB/4FQV
  • PDB/4FQY