Isolation and Characterization of Cross-Neutralizing Coronavirus Antibodies from COVID-19+ Subjects.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Madeleine F JenneweinLeonidas Stamatatos

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 is one of three coronaviruses that have crossed the animal-to-human barrier in the past two decades. The development of a universal human coronavirus vaccine could prevent future pandemics. We characterized 198 antibodies isolated from four COVID19+ subjects and identified 14 SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. One targeted the NTD, one recognized an epitope in S2 and twelve bound the RBD. Three anti-RBD neutralizing antibodies cross-neutralized SARS-CoV-1 by effectively blocking binding of both the SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 RBDs to the ACE2 receptor. Using the K18-hACE transgenic mouse model, we demonstrate that the neutralization potency rather than the antibody epitope specificity regulates the in vivo protective potential of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The anti-S2 antibody also neutralized SARS-CoV-1 and all four cross-neutralizing antibodies neutralized the B.1.351 mutant strain. Thus, our study reveals that epitopes in S2 can serve as blueprints for the design of immunogens capable of eliciting cross-neutralizing coronavirus antibodies.

Citations

Aug 5, 2021·Microbiology Spectrum·Sarah E WheelerMichael R Shurin

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