Publication date: Jan 05, 2024
The COVID-19 pandemic, once a global crisis, is now largely under control, a testament to the extraordinary global efforts involving vaccination and public health measures. However, the relentless evolution of SARS-CoV-2, leading to the emergence of new variants, continues to underscore the importance of remaining vigilant and adaptable. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have stood out as a powerful and immediate therapeutic response to COVID-19. Despite the success of mAbs, the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 continues to pose challenges and the available antibodies are no longer effective. New variants require the ongoing development of effective antibodies. In the present study, we describe the generation and characterization of neutralizing mAbs against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein by combining plasmid DNA and recombinant protein vaccination. By integrating genetic immunization for rapid antibody production and the potent immune stimulation enabled by protein vaccination, we produced a rich pool of antibodies, each with unique binding and neutralizing specificities, tested with the ELISA, BLI and FACS assays and the pseudovirus assay, respectively. Here, we present a panel of mAbs effective against the SARS-CoV-2 variants up to Omicron BA. 1 and BA. 5, with the flexibility to target emerging variants. This approach ensures the preparedness principle is in place to address SARS-CoV-2 actual and future infections.
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