The zoonotic Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) can cause severe disease in humans and has pandemic potential, yet no approved vaccine or therapy exists. Here we describe a dual-mechanism human monoclonal antibody (mAb) combination against RVFV that is effective at minimal doses in a lethal mouse model of infection. We structurally analyze and characterize the binding mode of a prototypical potent Gn domain-A-binding antibody that blocks attachment and of an antibody that inhibits infection by abrogating the fusion process as previously determined. Surprisingly, the Gn domain-A antibody does not directly block RVFV Gn interaction with the host receptor low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) as determined by a competitive assay. This study identifies a rationally designed combination of human mAbs deserving of future investigation for use in humans against RVFV infection. Using a two-pronged mechanistic approach, we demonstrate the potent efficacy of a rationally designed combination mAb therapeutic.
Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, 37232, USA.