Neutralising Antibodies against Ricin ToxinReport as inadecuate

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have listed the potential bioweapon ricin as a Category B Agent. Ricin is a so-called A-B toxin produced by plants and is one of the deadliest molecules known. It is easy to prepare and no curative treatment is available. An immunotherapeutic approach could be of interest to attenuate or neutralise the effects of the toxin. We sought to characterise neutralising monoclonal antibodies against ricin and to develop an effective therapy. For this purpose, mouse monoclonal antibodies mAbs were produced against the two chains of ricin toxin RTA and RTB. Seven mAbs were selected for their capacity to neutralise the cytotoxic effects of ricin in vitro. Three of these, two anti-RTB RB34 and RB37 and one anti-RTA RA36, when used in combination improved neutralising capacity in vitro with an IC50 of 31 ng-ml. Passive administration of association of these three mixed mAbs 4.7 µg protected mice from intranasal challenges with ricin 5 LD50. Among those three antibodies, anti-RTB antibodies protected mice more efficiently than the anti-RTA antibody. The combination of the three antibodies protected mice up to 7.5 hours after ricin challenge. The strong in vivo neutralising capacity of this three mAbs combination makes it potentially useful for immunotherapeutic purposes in the case of ricin poisoning or possibly for prevention.

Author: Julie Prigent, Laetitia Panigai, Patricia Lamourette, Didier Sauvaire, Karine Devilliers, Marc Plaisance, Hervé Volland, Christo



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