A Monoclonal Antibody Targeting a Highly Conserved Epitope in Influenza B Neuraminidase Provides Protection Against Drug Resistant Strains

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 Nov 8;441(1):226-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.10.041. Epub 2013 Oct 16.


All influenza viral neuraminidases (NA) of both type A and B viruses have only one universally conserved sequence located between amino acids 222-230. A monoclonal antibody against this region has been previously reported to provide broad inhibition against all nine subtypes of influenza A NA; yet its inhibitory effect against influenza B viral NA remained unknown. Here, we report that the monoclonal antibody provides a broad inhibition against various strains of influenza B viruses of both Victoria and Yamagata genetic lineage. Moreover, the growth and NA enzymatic activity of two drug resistant influenza B strains (E117D and D197E) are also inhibited by the antibody even though these two mutations are conformationally proximal to the universal epitope. Collectively, these data suggest that this unique, highly-conserved linear sequence in viral NA is exposed sufficiently to allow access by inhibitory antibody during the course of infection; it could represent a potential target for antiviral agents and vaccine-induced immune responses against diverse strains of type B influenza virus.

Keywords: Cross-protection; Influenza B; Neuraminidase; Universal antibody; Vaccination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Conserved Sequence*
  • Dogs
  • Drug Resistance, Viral / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance, Viral / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Viral / immunology*
  • Epitopes / chemistry
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Influenza B virus / drug effects
  • Influenza B virus / enzymology*
  • Influenza B virus / growth & development
  • Influenza B virus / immunology
  • Influenza, Human / immunology
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Neuraminidase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Neuraminidase / chemistry
  • Neuraminidase / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Epitopes
  • Neuraminidase