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Vaccination-induced protective antibodies to define conserved epitopes on influenza N2 neuraminidase

New publication from Tomas Lyu in Immunity on antigenicity of neuraminidase (NA) as an influenza vaccine target.


There is growing appreciation for neuraminidase (NA) as an influenza vaccine target; however, its antigenicity remains poorly characterized. In this study, we isolated three broadly reactive N2 antibodies from the plasmablasts of a single vaccinee, including one that cross-reacts with NAs from seasonal H3N2 strains spanning five decades. Although these three antibodies have diverse germline usages, they recognize similar epitopes that are distant from the NA active site and instead involve the highly conserved underside of NA head domain. We also showed that all three antibodies confer prophylactic and therapeutic protection in vivo, due to both Fc effector functions and NA inhibition through steric hindrance. Additionally, the contribution of Fc effector functions to protection in vivoinversely correlates with viral growth inhibition activity in vitro. Overall, our findings advance the understanding of NA antibody response and provide important insights into the development of a broadly protective influenza vaccine.


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