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1.  Targeting Hepatitis B Virus-Infected Cells with a T-Cell Receptor-Like Antibody▿ †  
Journal of Virology  2010;85(5):1935-1942.
Virus-specific CD8 T cells are activated when their T-cell receptors (TCRs) recognize the specific viral peptide/major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I (pMHC) complexes present on the surface of infected cells. Antibodies able to recognize the specific pMHC can mimic TCR specificity and both represent a valuable biological tool to visualize pMHC complexes on infected cells and serve as a delivery system for highly targeted therapies. To evaluate these possibilities, we created a monoclonal antibody able to specifically recognize a hepatitis B virus (HBV) envelope epitope (Env at positions 183 to 91 [Env183-91]) presented by the HLA-A201 molecule, and we tested its ability to recognize HBV-infected hepatocytes and to deliver a cargo to a specific target. We demonstrate that this antibody detects and visualizes the processed product of HBV proteins produced in naturally HBV-infected cells, is not inhibited by soluble HBV proteins present in patient sera, and mediates the intracellular delivery of a fluorescent molecule to target cells. Additionally, compared to CD8 T cells specific for the same HBV epitope, the TCR-like antibody has both a superior sensitivity and a specificity focused on distinct amino acids within the epitope. These data demonstrate that a T-cell receptor-like antibody can be used to determine the quantitative relationship between HBV replication and specific antigen presentation to CD8 T cells and serves as a novel therapeutic delivery platform for personalized health care for HBV-infected patients.
PMCID: PMC3067764  PMID: 21159876
2.  Sustained desensitization to bacterial Toll-like receptor ligands after resolutionof respiratory influenza infection 
The World Health Organization estimates that lower respiratory tract infections (excluding tuberculosis) account for ∼35% of all deaths caused by infectious diseases. In many cases, the cause of death may be caused by multiple pathogens, e.g., the life-threatening bacterial pneumonia observed in patients infected with influenza virus. The ability to evolve more efficient immunity on each successive encounter with antigen is the hallmark of the adaptive immune response. However, in the absence of cross-reactive T and B cell epitopes, one lung infection can modify immunity and pathology to the next for extended periods of time. We now report for the first time that this phenomenon is mediated by a sustained desensitization of lung sentinel cells to Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands; this is an effect that lasts for several months after resolution of influenza or respiratory syncytial virus infection and is associated with reduced chemokine production and NF-κB activation in alveolar macrophages. Although such desensitization may be beneficial in alleviating overall immunopathology, the reduced neutrophil recruitment correlates with heightened bacterial load during secondary respiratory infection. Our data therefore suggests that post-viral desensitization to TLR signals may be one possible contributor to the common secondary bacterial pneumonia associated with pandemic and seasonal influenza infection.
PMCID: PMC2271005  PMID: 18227219

Results 1-2 (2)