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Embase; 2022.
Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-334805


Omicron sub-lineage BA.2 has rapidly surged globally, accounting for over 60% of recent SARS-CoV-2 infections. Newly acquired RBD mutations and high transmission advantage over BA.1 urge the investigation of BA.2's immune evasion capability. Here, we show that BA.2 causes strong neutralization resistance, comparable to BA.1, in vaccinated individuals' plasma. However, BA.2 displays more severe antibody evasion in BA.1 convalescents, and most prominently, in vaccinated SARS convalescents' plasma, suggesting a substantial antigenicity difference between BA.2 and BA.1. To specify, we determined the escaping mutation profiles1,2 of 714 SARS-CoV-2 RBD neutralizing antibodies, including 241 broad sarbecovirus neutralizing antibodies isolated from SARS convalescents, and measured their neutralization efficacy against BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2. Importantly, BA.2 specifically induces large-scale escape of BA.1/BA.1.1effective broad sarbecovirus neutralizing antibodies via novel mutations T376A, D405N, and R408S. These sites were highly conserved across sarbecoviruses, suggesting that Omicron BA.2 arose from immune pressure selection instead of zoonotic spillover. Moreover, BA.2 reduces the efficacy of S309 (Sotrovimab)3,4 and broad sarbecovirus neutralizing antibodies targeting the similar epitope region, including BD55-5840. Structural comparisons of BD55-5840 in complexes with BA.1 and BA.2 spike suggest that BA.2 could hinder antibody binding through S371F-induced N343-glycan displacement. Intriguingly, the absence of G446S mutation in BA.2 enabled a proportion of 440-449 linear epitope targeting antibodies to retain neutralizing efficacy, including COV2-2130 (Cilgavimab)5. Together, we showed that BA.2 exhibits distinct antigenicity compared to BA.1 and provided a comprehensive profile of SARS-CoV-2 antibody escaping mutations. Our study offers critical insights into the humoral immune evading mechanism of current and future variants.

Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326764


The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 variant (Omicron) contains 15 mutations on the receptor-binding domain (RBD). How Omicron would evade RBD neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) requires immediate investigation. Here, we used high-throughput yeast display screening1,2 to determine the RBD escaping mutation profiles for 247 human anti-RBD NAbs and showed that the NAbs could be unsupervised clustered into six epitope groups (A-F), which is highly concordant with knowledge-based structural classifications3-5. Strikingly, various single mutations of Omicron could impair NAbs of different epitope groups. Specifically, NAbs in Group A-D, whose epitope overlap with ACE2-binding motif, are largely escaped by K417N, G446S, E484A, and Q493R. Group E (S309 site)6 and F (CR3022 site)7 NAbs, which often exhibit broad sarbecovirus neutralizing activity, are less affected by Omicron, but still, a subset of NAbs are escaped by G339D, N440K, and S371L. Furthermore, Omicron pseudovirus neutralization showed that single mutation tolerating NAbs could also be escaped due to multiple synergetic mutations on their epitopes. In total, over 85% of the tested NAbs are escaped by Omicron. Regarding NAb drugs, the neutralization potency of LYCoV016/LY-CoV555, REGN10933/REGN10987, AZD1061/AZD8895, and BRII-196 were greatly reduced by Omicron, while VIR-7831 and DXP-604 still function at reduced efficacy. Together, data suggest Omicron would cause significant humoral immune evasion, while NAbs targeting the sarbecovirus conserved region remain most effective. Our results offer instructions for developing NAb drugs and vaccines against Omicron and future variants.