SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 is susceptible to neutralizing antibodies elicited by ancestral Spike vaccines.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Xiaoying ShenDavid C Montefiori

Abstract

The SARS-CoV-2 Spike glycoprotein mediates virus entry and is a major target for neutralizing antibodies. All current vaccines are based on the ancestral Spike with the goal of generating a protective neutralizing antibody response. Several novel SARS-CoV-2 variants with multiple Spike mutations have emerged, and their rapid spread and potential for immune escape have raised concerns. One of these variants, first identified in the United Kingdom, B.1.1.7 (also called VUI202012/01), contains eight Spike mutations with potential to impact antibody therapy, vaccine efficacy and risk of reinfection. Here we employed a lentivirus-based pseudovirus assay to show that variant B.1.1.7 remains sensitive to neutralization, albeit at moderately reduced levels (~2-fold), by serum samples from convalescent individuals and recipients of two different vaccines based on ancestral Spike: mRNA-1273 (Moderna), and protein nanoparticle NVX-CoV2373 (Novavax). Some monoclonal antibodies to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of Spike were less effective against the variant while others were largely unaffected. These findings indicate that B.1.1.7 is not a neutralization escape variant that would be a major concern for current vaccines, or for an incre...Continue Reading

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