Delayed treatment of Ebola virus infection with plant-derived monoclonal antibodies provides protection in rhesus macaques

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Oct 30;109(44):18030-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1213709109. Epub 2012 Oct 15.


Filovirus infections can cause a severe and often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates, including great apes. Here, three anti-Ebola virus mouse/human chimeric mAbs (c13C6, h-13F6, and c6D8) were produced in Chinese hamster ovary and in whole plant (Nicotiana benthamiana) cells. In pilot experiments testing a mixture of the three mAbs (MB-003), we found that MB-003 produced in both manufacturing systems protected rhesus macaques from lethal challenge when administered 1 h postinfection. In a pivotal follow-up experiment, we found significant protection (P < 0.05) when MB-003 treatment began 24 or 48 h postinfection (four of six survived vs. zero of two controls). In all experiments, surviving animals that received MB-003 experienced little to no viremia and had few, if any, of the clinical symptoms observed in the controls. The results represent successful postexposure in vivo efficacy by a mAb mixture and suggest that this immunoprotectant should be further pursued as a postexposure and potential therapeutic for Ebola virus exposure.

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

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / isolation & purification
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / prevention & control*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Plantibodies / isolation & purification
  • Plantibodies / therapeutic use*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Plantibodies