Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection causes significant morbidity in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients. However, antibody responses that correlate with recovery from RSV disease are not fully understood.
Methods: In this study, antibody repertoire in paired serum and nasal wash samples from acutely RSV-A-infected HCT recipients who recovered early (<14 days of RSV shedding) were compared with late-recovered patients (≥14 days of shedding) using gene fragment phage display libraries and surface plasmon resonance.
Results: Anti-F serum responses were similar between these 2 groups for antibody repertoires, neutralization titers, anti-F binding antibodies (prefusion and postfusion proteins), antibody avidity, and binding to specific antigenic sites. In contrast, nasal washes from early-recovered individuals demonstrated higher binding to F peptide containing p27. While the serum RSV G antibody repertoires in the 2 groups were similar, the strongest difference between early-recovered and late-recovered patients was observed in the titers of nasal wash antibodies, especially binding to the central conserved domain. Most importantly, a significantly higher antibody affinity to RSV G was observed in nasal washes from early-recovered individuals compared with late-recovered HCT recipients.
Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of mucosal antibodies in resolution of RSV-A infection in the upper respiratory tract.
Keywords: HCT; RSV; antibody; antibody affinity; epitope; immune response; infection; mucosal immunity; repertoire; virus.
Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2019.