Antibodies for the Prevention and Treatment of Viral Diseases

Antibodies are an important component in host immune responses to viral pathogens. Because of their unique maturation process, antibodies can evolve to be highly specific to viral antigens. A key strategy for preventing, treating and curing viral infections is the passive provision of anti-viral antibodies. Evidence for the utility of this strategy has been noted across various viral infections. So far, they have essentially been selected and used on the basis of their virus-neutralizing activity and/or cell-killing activity to blunt viral propagation via direct mechanisms.

The History of Antibody Therapy

Animal or human sera or plasmas containing antibodies have been used worldwide for the prophylaxis and therapy of infectious diseases of known and unknown causes since the late 1800s. The earliest application of antibodies as a treatment for viral infections can be traced back to the early 20th century, the use of sera from infected humans who had recovered from the same infection. Emil von Behring was awarded the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1901 for his discovery of serum therapy for diphtheria. As a matter of fact, therapeutic serum inoculations against measles and mumps have been practiced in Europe since the 1930s. This treatment is termed “antibody therapy” or “passive immunization.”

Chart shows the milestones in antibody technology. Fig.1 Chart shows the milestones in antibody technology. (Chan, 2009)

The Development of Antibodies Products

Antibodies continue to be indicated for prophylaxis either prior to an anticipated exposure especially in situations of travel, or more commonly following an exposure. Many effective polyclonal antibody products have been developed that target either prevention of viral infections related diseases. These products include Tetanus Immune Globulin, Rabies Immune Globulin, Hepatitis B Immune Globulin, CMV Globulin, etc. A common disadvantage of polyclonal preparations is that many of their constituent virus-specific antibodies are non-neutralizing. Moreover, polyclonal sera have to be screened and treated due to risks related to the use of blood products. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) therapies may also provide an additional option to reduce the likelihood of serious illness in unvaccinated people, for example in those with viral infections such as Ebola or Rabies. There is also potential to use mAbs for those deemed at high risk, or people with compromised or suppressed immune systems who need extra protection. Additionally, therapeutic cocktail antibodies, combinations of two or more mAbs, hold all advantages of mAbs. Moreover, it targets more than one epitope or even binds multiple antigens like polyclonal antibodies. A cocktail is a better choice for treating varying infectious diseases.

Development of therapeutic antibodies against COVID-19. Fig.2 Development of therapeutic antibodies against COVID-19. (Ning, 2021)

More Details

Creative Biolabs provides numerous antibodies for virological research. Using a variety of hosts, we can provide polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies relying on your applications. We also offer a wide range of ViroAntibody services including discovery, engineering, customized services. Please feel free to contact us for further information.


  1. Chan, C.E.Z.; et al. The use of antibodies in the treatment of infectious diseases. Singapore Med J. 2009, 50 (7): 663-672.
  2. Ning, L.; et al. Development and application of therapeutic antibodies against COVID-19. International journal of biological sciences. 2021, 17(6): 1486.
All products and services are intended for Research Use Only, and NOT to be used in diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

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