Primary immunization of humans with smallpox vaccine (live vaccinia virus (VACV)) consistently elicits antibody responses to six VACV virion membrane proteins, including A13. However, whether anti-A13 antibody contributes to immune protection against orthopoxviruses was unknown. Here, we isolated a murine monoclonal antibody (mAb) against A13 from a mouse that had been infected with VACV. The anti-A13 mAb bound to recombinant A13 protein with an affinity of 3.4. nM and neutralized VACV mature virions. Passive immunization of mice with the anti-A13 mAb protected against intranasal VACV infection. The epitope of the anti-A13 mAb was mapped to a 10-amino acid sequence conserved in all orthopoxviruses, including viriola virus and monkeypox virus, suggesting that anti-A13 antibodies elicited by smallpox vaccine might contribute to immune protection against orthopoxviruses. In addition, our data demonstrates that anti-A13 mAbs are effective for treating orthopoxvirus infection.
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