No vaccines or monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) exist to prevent or treat herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections, which cause devastating neonatal disease, encephalitis, and mucosal lesions. Previous failed vaccine efforts targeted HSV glycoprotein D (gD), which elicits only neutralizing antibodies.
Betsy Herold, M.D., and colleagues have developed a promising “non-gD” candidate vaccine that elicits antibodies that generate antibody-dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). The NIH has awarded the researchers a five-year, $3 million grant to isolate and characterize these ADCC-mediating mAbs, individually and in combination, in mouse models of HSV infection; determine how deletion of gD allows for the generation of ADCC; and study interactions between gD and the immunomodulatory molecule herpes entry mediator (HVEM), which is expressed by most immune cells. The findings will have implications for designing vaccines and mAbs against other pathogens and cancer.
Dr. Herold is professor of pediatrics, of microbiology & immunology, and holds the Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Pediatrics at Einstein and is vice chair for research and chief of infectious diseases at Einstein and the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore.
Posted on: Tuesday, August 22, 2023