Protection of Mice from Fatal Bubonic and Pneumonic Plague by Passive Immunization with Monoclonal Antibodies against the F1 Protein of Yersinia pestis

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  • U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Naval Medical Research Institute, Frederick, Maryland

Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to the fraction 1 (F1) protein of Yersinia pestis protected mice against fatal pneumonic as well as bubonic plague from wild-type F1+ organisms. The rare isolation of a virulent F1- isolate from surviving animals supports earlier studies suggesting that improved vaccines should consist of immunogens to protect against F1 - variants. The high degree of protection with IgG MAb suggests that secretory IgA is not required for protection from pneumonic plague.