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Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a highly lethal pulmonary infection caused by a coronavirus (CoV), MERS-CoV. With the continuing spread of MERS-CoV, prophylactic and therapeutic treatments are urgently needed. In this study, we prepared purified equine F(ab')2 from horses immunized with MERS-CoV virus-like particles (VLPs) expressing MERS-CoV S, M and E proteins. Both IgG and F(ab')2 efficiently neutralized MERS-CoV replication in tissue culture. Passive transfer of equine immune antibodies significantly reduced virus titers and accelerated virus clearance from the lungs of MERS-CoV infected mice. Our data show that horses immunized with MERS-CoV VLPs can serve as a primary source of protective F(ab')2 for potential use in the prophylactic or therapeutic treatment of exposed or infected patients. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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Yongkun Zhao, Chong Wang, Boning Qiu, Chufang Li, Hualei Wang, Hongli Jin, Weiwei Gai, Xuexing Zheng, Tiecheng Wang, Weiyang Sun, Feihu Yan, Yuwei Gao, Qian Wang, Jinghua Yan, Ling Chen, Stanley Perlman, Nanshan Zhong, Jincun Zhao, Songtao Yang, Xianzhu Xia. Passive immunotherapy for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus infection with equine immunoglobulin or immunoglobulin fragments in a mouse model. Antiviral research. 2017 Jan;137:125-130

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PMID: 27890674

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