Previous efforts to identify cross-neutralizing antibodies to the receptor-binding site (RBS) of ebolavirus glycoproteins have been unsuccessful, largely because the RBS is occluded on the viral surface. We report a monoclonal antibody (FVM04) that targets a uniquely exposed epitope within the RBS; cross-neutralizes Ebola (EBOV), Sudan (SUDV), and, to a lesser extent, Bundibugyo viruses; and shows protection against EBOV and SUDV in mice and guinea pigs. The antibody cocktail ZMapp™ is remarkably effective against EBOV (Zaire) but does not cross-neutralize other ebolaviruses. By replacing one of the ZMapp™ components with FVM04, we retained the anti-EBOV efficacy while extending the breadth of protection to SUDV, thereby generating a cross-protective antibody cocktail. In addition, we report several mutations at the base of the ebolavirus glycoprotein that enhance the binding of FVM04 and other cross-reactive antibodies. These findings have important implications for pan-ebolavirus vaccine development and defining broadly protective antibody cocktails.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.