Converting monoclonal antibody-based immunotherapies from passive to active: bringing immune complexes into play

Lambour, J.; Naranjo-Gomez, M.; Piechaczyk, M.; Pelegrin, M.

Emerg Microbes Infect

2016 / vol 5 / pages e92


Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), which currently constitute the main class of biotherapeutics, are now recognized as major medical tools that are increasingly being considered to fight severe viral infections. Indeed, the number of antiviral mAbs developed in recent years has grown exponentially. Although their direct effects on viral blunting have been studied in detail, their potential immunomodulatory actions have been overlooked until recently. The ability of antiviral mAbs to modulate antiviral immune responses in infected organisms has recently been revealed. More specifically, upon recognition of their cognate antigens, mAbs form immune complexes (ICs) that can be recognized by the Fc receptors expressed on different immune cells of infected individuals. This binding may be followed by the modulation of the host immune responses. Harnessing this immunomodulatory property may facilitate improvements in the therapeutic potential of antiviral mAbs. This review focuses on the role of ICs formed with different viral determinants and mAbs in the induction of antiviral immune responses in the context of both passive immunotherapies and vaccination strategies. Potential deleterious effects of ICs on the host immune response are also discussed.

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