Antibodies play a crucial role in the immune response, in fighting off pathogens as well as helping create strong immunological memory. Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) occurs when non-neutralising antibodies recognise and bind to a pathogen, but are unable to prevent infection, and is widely known and is reported as occurring in infection caused by several viruses. This narrative review explores the ADE phenomenon, its occurrence in viral infections and evaluates its role in infection by SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As of yet, there is no clear evidence of ADE in SARS-CoV-2, though this area is still subject to further study.


This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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Farouq, M., Acevedo, R., Ferro, V., Mulheran, P. & Al Qaraghuli, M. 2022, 'The role of antibodies in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, and evaluating their contribution to antibody-dependent enhancement of infection', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(11), article no: 6078. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23116078

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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