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Live imaging of SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice reveals that neutralizing antibodies require Fc function for optimal efficacy

Ullah, Irfan and Prévost, Jérémie and Ladinsky, Mark S. and Stone, Helen and Lu, Maolin and Anand, Sai Priya and Beaudoin-Bussières, Guillaume and Symmes, Kelly and Benlarbi, Mehdi and Ding, Shilei and Gasser, Romain and Fink, Corby and Chen, Yaozong and Tauzin, Alexandra and Goyette, Guillaume and Bourassa, Catherine and Medjahed, Halima and Mack, Matthias and Chung, Kunho and Wilen, Craig B. and Dekaban, Gregory A. and Dikeakos, Jimmy D. and Bruce, Emily A. and Kaufmann, Daniel E. and Stamatatos, Leonidas and McGuire, Andrew T. and Richard, Jonathan and Pazgier, Marzena and Bjorkman, Pamela J. and Mothes, Walther and Finzi, Andrés and Kumar, Priti and Uchil, Pradeep D. (2021) Live imaging of SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice reveals that neutralizing antibodies require Fc function for optimal efficacy. Immunity, 54 (9). pp. 2143-2158. ISSN 1074-7613. PMCID PMC8372518; PMC8010726. doi:10.1016/j.immuni.2021.08.015.

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Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) are effective in treating COVID-19, but the mechanism of immune protection is not fully understood. Here, we applied live bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to monitor the real-time effects of NAb treatment during prophylaxis and therapy of K18-hACE2 mice intranasally infected with SARS-CoV-2-nanoluciferase. Real-time imaging revealed that the virus spread sequentially from the nasal cavity to the lungs in mice and thereafter systemically to various organs including the brain, culminating in death. Highly potent NAbs from a COVID-19 convalescent subject prevented, and also effectively resolved, established infection when administered within three days. In addition to direct neutralization, depletion studies indicated that Fc effector interactions of NAbs with monocytes, neutrophils, and natural killer cells were required to effectively dampen inflammatory responses and limit immunopathology. Our study highlights that both Fab and Fc effector functions of NAbs are essential for optimal in vivo efficacy against SARS-CoV-2.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle Paper CentralDiscussion Paper
Ullah, Irfan0000-0002-7760-8693
Ladinsky, Mark S.0000-0002-1036-3513
Stone, Helen0000-0002-3344-5079
Lu, Maolin0000-0002-8099-6447
Anand, Sai Priya0000-0001-9821-8259
Beaudoin-Bussières, Guillaume0000-0002-8092-4101
Symmes, Kelly0000-0002-4442-8442
Benlarbi, Mehdi0000-0001-9966-3784
Gasser, Romain0000-0002-8565-1106
Chen, Yaozong0000-0001-5380-2339
Tauzin, Alexandra0000-0001-9153-3600
Goyette, Guillaume0000-0003-3277-568X
Bourassa, Catherine0000-0003-1805-8860
Mack, Matthias0000-0002-3157-7262
Chung, Kunho0000-0003-1504-317X
Wilen, Craig B.0000-0003-2495-9403
Dekaban, Gregory A.0000-0002-3087-4660
Dikeakos, Jimmy D.0000-0001-8141-5395
Bruce, Emily A.0000-0001-8391-370X
Kaufmann, Daniel E.0000-0003-4467-136X
Stamatatos, Leonidas0000-0002-1106-7097
McGuire, Andrew T.0000-0003-1841-6859
Richard, Jonathan0000-0002-9015-9589
Pazgier, Marzena0000-0003-0594-5057
Bjorkman, Pamela J.0000-0002-2277-3990
Mothes, Walther0000-0002-3367-7240
Finzi, Andrés0000-0002-4992-5288
Kumar, Priti0000-0002-6901-5601
Uchil, Pradeep D.0000-0002-7236-858X
Additional Information:© 2021 Elsevier Inc. Received 23 March 2021, Revised 27 June 2021, Accepted 11 August 2021, Available online 18 August 2021. This work was supported by NIH grant R01AI163395 to W.M.; George Mason University Fast Grants to M.S.L. and P.J.B.; P20GM125498 (awarded to UVM Translational Global Infectious Disease Research Center) to E.A.B.; le Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec, Programme de soutien aux organismes de recherche et d’innovation, Foundation du CHUM, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) foundation grant 352417 and Rapid Research Funding Opportunity FRN440388 to J.D.D. and G.A.D.; Canada Research Chair on Retroviral Entry no. RCHS0235 950-232424 to A.F.; Canada’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) and Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) 41027 to A.F. and D.E.K. and 36287 to J.D.D. and G.A.D.; FRQS Merit Research Scholarship to D.E.K.; CIHR fellowships to J.P., S.P.A., and G.B.-B.; MITACS Accélération postdoctoral fellowship to R.G.; Fred Hutch COVID-19 Research Fund to L.S. and A.T.M. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Uniformed Services University, US Army, the Department of Defense, or the US Government. Author contributions: Conceptualization, P.D.U., P.K., A.F., W.M., I.U., and J.P.; methodology, P.D.U., I.U., J.P., M.S.L., E.A.B., M.L.,W.M., A.F., and P.K.; investigation, I.U., P.D.U., J.P., H.S., K.S., K.C., L.S., A.T.M., S.P.A., G.B.-B., M.B., S.D., R.G., C.F., Y.C., A.T., G.G., C.B., H.M., G.A.D., J.D.D., D.E.K., J.R., and M.P.; writing – original draft, P.D.U.; writing – review & editing, P.D.U., P.K., A.F., W.M., I.U., J.P., L.S., and A.T.M.; funding acquisition, A.F., L.S., A.T.M., P.J.B.; resources, A.F., P.J.B., C.B.W., and M.M.; supervision, P.D.U., W.M., P.K., A.F., and P.J.B. The authors declare no competing interests. Data and code availability: All the data that support the findings of this study are available from the lead contact upon request. Additional supplemental items that include raw data for generating all graphs shown in figures and videos are available at Mendeley Data, V3, This paper does not report original code. Any additional information required to reanalyze the data reported in this paper is available from the lead contact upon request.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
George Mason UniversityUNSPECIFIED
le Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du QuébecUNSPECIFIED
Programme de soutien aux organismes de recherche et d’innovationUNSPECIFIED
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)352417
Rapid Research Funding OpportunityFRN440388
Canada Research Chairs ProgramRCHS0235 950-232424
Canada COVID-19 Immunity Task ForceUNSPECIFIED
Canada Foundation for Innovation41027
Canada Foundation for Innovation36287
Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS)UNSPECIFIED
MITACS Accélération Postdoctoral FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Fred Hutch COVID-19 Research FundUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; nanoluciferase; bioluminescence imaging; neutralizing antibodies; human ACE2 transgenic mice; monocytes; natural killer cells; pathogenesis; Fc effector functions
Issue or Number:9
PubMed Central ID:PMC8372518; PMC8010726
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210323-080814224
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Irfan Ullah, Jérémie Prévost, Mark S. Ladinsky, Helen Stone, Maolin Lu, Sai Priya Anand, Guillaume Beaudoin-Bussières, Kelly Symmes, Mehdi Benlarbi, Shilei Ding, Romain Gasser, Corby Fink, Yaozong Chen, Alexandra Tauzin, Guillaume Goyette, Catherine Bourassa, Halima Medjahed, Matthias Mack, Kunho Chung, Craig B. Wilen, Gregory A. Dekaban, Jimmy D. Dikeakos, Emily A. Bruce, Daniel E. Kaufmann, Leonidas Stamatatos, Andrew T. McGuire, Jonathan Richard, Marzena Pazgier, Pamela J. Bjorkman, Walther Mothes, Andrés Finzi, Priti Kumar, Pradeep D. Uchil, Live imaging of SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice reveals that neutralizing antibodies require Fc function for optimal efficacy, Immunity, Volume 54, Issue 9, 2021, Pages 2143-2158.e15, ISSN 1074-7613, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108524
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Mar 2021 17:24
Last Modified:09 Feb 2022 00:54

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