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Immunology and Infectious Disease | Virus Diseases | Viruses


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and related lymphocryptoviruses (LCVs) from nonhuman primates are transmitted through oral secretions, penetrate the mucosal epithelium, and establish persistent infection in B cells. To determine whether neutralizing antibodies against epithelial or B cell infection could block oral transmission and persistent LCV infection, we use rhesus macaques, the most accurate animal model for EBV infection by faithfully reproducing acute and persistent infection in humans. Naive animals are infused with monoclonal antibodies neutralizing epithelial cell infection or B cell infection and then challenged orally with recombinant rhesus LCV. Our data show that high-titer B cell-neutralizing antibodies alone, but not epithelial cell-neutralizing antibodies, can provide complete protection of rhesus macaques from oral LCV challenge, but not in all hosts. Thus, neutralizing antibodies against B cell infection are important targets for EBV vaccine development, but they may not be sufficient.


72A1, E1D1, EBV vaccine, Epstein-Barr virus, lymphocryptovirus

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Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

DOI of Published Version



Mühe J, Aye PP, Quink C, Eng JY, Engelman K, Reimann KA, Wang F. Neutralizing antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus infection of B cells can protect from oral viral challenge in the rhesus macaque animal model. Cell Rep Med. 2021 Jul 21;2(7):100352. doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2021.100352. PMID: 34337567; PMCID: PMC8324488. Link to article on publisher's site

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Cell reports. Medicine

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.