Human monoclonal antibody as prophylaxis for SARS coronavirus infection in ferrets
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SARS coronavirus continues to cause sporadic cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in China. No active or passive immunoprophylaxis for disease induced by SARS coronavirus is available. We investigated prophylaxis of SARS coronavirus infection with a neutralising human monoclonal antibody in ferrets, which can be readily infected with the virus. Prophylactic administration of the monoclonal antibody at 10 mg/kg reduced replication of SARS coronavirus in the lungs of infected ferrets by 3·3 logs (95% Cl 2·6–4·0 logs; p<0·001), completely prevented the development of SARS coronavirus-induced macroscopic lung pathology (p=0·013), and abolished shedding of virus in pharyngeal secretions. The data generated in this animal model show that administration of a human monoclonal antibody might offer a feasible and effective prophylaxis for the control of human SARS coronavirus infection.