Discovery and optimization of a broadly-neutralizing human monoclonal antibody against long-chain α-neurotoxins from snakes
Snakebite envenoming continues to claim many lives across the globe, necessitating the development of improved therapies. To this end, broadly-neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies may possess advantages over current plasma-derived antivenoms by offering superior safety and high neutralization capacity. Here, we report the establishment of a pipeline based on phage display technology for the discovery and optimization of high affinity broadly-neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies. This approach yielded a recombinant human antibody with superior broadly-neutralizing capacities in vitro and in vivo against different long-chain α-neurotoxins from elapid snakes. This antibody prevents lethality induced by Naja kaouthia whole venom at an unprecedented low molar ratio of one antibody per toxin and prolongs the survival of mice injected with Dendroaspis polylepis or Ophiophagus hannah whole venoms. The treatment of snakebite envenoming is currently suboptimal. Existing antivenoms often lack efficacy and may cause adverse reactions. Here, the authors derive, develop, and demonstrate the utility of toxin-specific broadly-neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies with established reactivity across related venom toxins from different snake species and show efficacy in rodent models.