Mapping immunodominant sites on the MERS-CoV spike glycoprotein targeted by infection-elicited antibodies in humans

Avatar
Poster
Voices Powered byElevenlabs logo
Connected to paperThis paper is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review

Mapping immunodominant sites on the MERS-CoV spike glycoprotein targeted by infection-elicited antibodies in humans

Authors

Addetia, A.; Stewart, C.; Seo, A. J.; Sprouse, K. R.; Asiri, A. Y.; Al-Mozaini, M.; Memish, Z. A.; Alshukairi, A.; Veesler, D.

Abstract

Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) first emerged in 2012 and causes human infections in endemic regions. Most vaccines and therapeutics in development against MERS-CoV focus on the spike (S) glycoprotein to prevent viral entry into target cells. These efforts, however, are limited by a poor understanding of antibody responses elicited by infection along with their durability, fine specificity and contribution of distinct S antigenic sites to neutralization. To address this knowledge gap, we analyzed S-directed binding and neutralizing antibody titers in plasma collected from individuals infected with MERS-CoV in 2017-2019 (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic). We observed that binding and neutralizing antibodies peak 1 to 6 weeks after symptom onset/hospitalization, persist for at least 6 months, and broadly neutralize human and camel MERS-CoV strains. We show that the MERS-CoV S1 subunit is immunodominant and that antibodies targeting S1, particularly the RBD, account for most plasma neutralizing activity. Antigenic site mapping revealed that polyclonal plasma antibodies frequently target RBD epitopes, particularly a site exposed irrespective of the S trimer conformation, whereas targeting of S2 subunit epitopes is rare, similar to SARS-CoV-2. Our data reveal in unprecedented details the humoral immune responses elicited by MERS-CoV infection, which will guide vaccine and therapeutic design.

Follow Us on

0 comments

Add comment