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Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted pathogen that causes chikungunya disease (CHIK); the disease is characterized by fever, muscle ache, rash, and arthralgia. This arthralgia can be debilitating and long-lasting, seriously impacting quality of life for years. Currently, there is no specific therapy available for CHIKV infection. We have developed a despeciated equine polyclonal antibody (CHIKV-EIG) treatment against CHIKV and evaluated its protective efficacy in mouse models of CHIKV infection. In immunocompromised (IFNAR−/−) mice infected with CHIKV, daily treatment for five consecutive days with CHIKV-EIG administered at 100 mg/kg starting on the day of infection prevented mortality, reduced viremia, and improved clinical condition as measured by body weight loss. These beneficial effects were seen even when treatment was delayed to 1 day after infection. In immunocompetent mice, CHIKV-EIG treatment reduced virus induced arthritis (including footpad swelling), arthralgia-associated cytokines, viremia, and tissue virus loads in a dose-dependent fashion. Collectively, these results suggest that CHIKV-EIG is effective at preventing CHIK and could be a viable candidate for further development as a treatment for human disease.
Barker, D.; Han, X.; Wang, E.; Dagley, A.; Anderson, D.M.; Jha, A.; Weaver, S.C.; Julander, J.; Nykiforuk, C.; Kodihalli, S. Equine Polyclonal Antibodies Prevent Acute Chikungunya Virus Infection in Mice. Viruses 2023, 15, 1479. https://doi.org/10.3390/v15071479