Potent neutralizing antibodies from COVID-19 patients define multiple targets of vulnerability

Science
Philip J M BrouwerMarit J van Gils

Abstract

The rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has had a large impact on global health, travel, and economy. Therefore, preventative and therapeutic measures are urgently needed. Here, we isolated monoclonal antibodies from three convalescent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients using a SARS-CoV-2 stabilized prefusion spike protein. These antibodies had low levels of somatic hypermutation and showed a strong enrichment in VH1-69, VH3-30-3, and VH1-24 gene usage. A subset of the antibodies was able to potently inhibit authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection at a concentration as low as 0.007 micrograms per milliliter. Competition and electron microscopy studies illustrate that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein contains multiple distinct antigenic sites, including several receptor-binding domain (RBD) epitopes as well as non-RBD epitopes. In addition to providing guidance for vaccine design, the antibodies described here are promising candidates for COVID-19 treatment and prevention.

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Methods Mentioned

BETA
size-exclusion
electrophoresis
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
ELISA
flow cytometry
biolayer interferometry
electron microscopy

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