Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Virology


Geisel School of Medicine


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is the leading cause of congenital viral infection, and developing a prophylactic vaccine is of high priority to public health. We recently reported a replication-defective human cytomegalovirus with restored pentameric complex glycoprotein H (gH)/gL/pUL128-131 for prevention of congenital HCMV infection. While the quantity of vaccine-induced antibody responses can be measured in a viral neutralization assay, assessing the quality of such responses, including the ability of vaccine-induced antibodies to cross-neutralize the field strains of HCMV, remains a challenge. In this study, with a panel of neutralizing antibodies from three healthy human donors with natural HCMV infection or a vaccinated animal, we mapped eight sites on the dominant virus-neutralizing antigen—the pentameric complex of glycoprotein H (gH), gL, and pUL128, pUL130, and pUL131. By evaluating the site-specific antibodies in vaccine immune sera, we demonstrated that vaccination elicited functional antiviral antibodies to multiple neutralizing sites in rhesus macaques, with quality attributes comparable to those of CMV hyperimmune globulin. Furthermore, these immune sera showed antiviral activities against a panel of genetically distinct HCMV clinical isolates. These results highlighted the importance of understanding the quality of vaccine-induced antibody responses, which includes not only the neutralizing potency in key cell types but also the ability to protect against the genetically diverse field strains.



Original Citation

Ha S, Li F, Troutman MC, Freed DC, Tang A, Loughney JW, Wang D, Wang IM, Vlasak J, Nickle DC, Rustandi RR, Hamm M, DePhillips PA, Zhang N, McLellan JS, Zhu H, Adler SP, McVoy MA, An Z, Fu TM. Neutralization of Diverse Human Cytomegalovirus Strains Conferred by Antibodies Targeting Viral gH/gL/pUL128-131 Pentameric Complex. J Virol. 2017 Mar 13;91(7):e02033-16. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02033-16. PMID: 28077654; PMCID: PMC5355600.