Development of antibodies as medical countermeasures to biothreat agents


  1. Hu, W-G.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
Antibodies have great potential for countering biothreat agents that are not addressed by current medical countermeasures. They are highly versatile defence molecules naturally produced in the body and can be developed against any biothreat agent. Antibodies can directly neutralize biothreat agents and/or invoke destruction of them through the assistance of the immune system. Unlike vaccines, which require time to induce protective immunity and depend on the host’s ability to mount immune responses, therapeutic antibodies can confer instant and consistent immunity against biothreat agents once administered regardless of the immune status of the host. In addition, therapeutic antibodies have substantial advantages over antimicrobial drugs, such as high specificity, low toxicity, and long serum half-life (around 20 days). Therapeutic antibodies can be used, either prophylactically to prevent diseases before, or therapeutically to treat diseases after biothreat attacks. It is these properties that make antibodies attractive for medical countermeasures against biothreat agents. As reviewed here, the development of therapeutic antibodies against biothreat agents is summarized in the following areas: history of using antibodies against infectious diseases, current status of development of therapeutic antibodies against an extensive list of biothreat agents, and a table summarizing the development stages (discovery, pre-clinical, and clinical) of each anti-biothreat agent antibody

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antibodies;biotheat agents;biological warfare agents;emerging diseases;medical countermeasures
Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-TM-2012-120 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Dec 2012
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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