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Sci Transl Med ; 14(645): eabn8543, 2022 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774930


The rapid spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) along with its high number of mutations in the spike gene has raised alarms about the effectiveness of current medical countermeasures. To address this concern, we measured the neutralization of the Omicron BA.1 variant pseudovirus by postvaccination serum samples after two and three immunizations with the Pfizer/BioNTech162b2 SARS-CoV-2 mRNA (Pfizer/BNT162b2) vaccine, convalescent serum samples from unvaccinated individuals infected by different variants, and clinical-stage therapeutic antibodies. We found that titers against the Omicron variant were low or undetectable after two immunizations and in many convalescent serum samples, regardless of the infecting variant. A booster vaccination increased titers more than 30-fold against Omicron to values comparable to those seen against the D614G variant after two immunizations. Neither age nor sex was associated with the differences in postvaccination antibody responses. We also evaluated 18 clinical-stage therapeutic antibody products and an antibody mimetic protein product obtained directly from the manufacturers. Five monoclonal antibodies, the antibody mimetic protein, three antibody cocktails, and two polyclonal antibody preparations retained measurable neutralization activity against Omicron with a varying degree of potency. Of these, only three retained potencies comparable to the D614G variant. Two therapeutic antibody cocktails in the tested panel that are authorized for emergency use in the United States did not neutralize Omicron. These findings underscore the potential benefit of mRNA vaccine boosters for protection against Omicron and the need for rapid development of antibody therapeutics that maintain potency against emerging variants.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines , COVID-19 Serotherapy
J Virol ; 96(1): e0111021, 2022 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621992


Mutations in the spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants can compromise the effectiveness of therapeutic antibodies. Most clinical-stage therapeutic antibodies target the spike receptor binding domain (RBD), but variants often have multiple mutations in several spike regions. To help predict antibody potency against emerging variants, we evaluated 25 clinical-stage therapeutic antibodies for neutralization activity against 60 pseudoviruses bearing spikes with single or multiple substitutions in several spike domains, including the full set of substitutions in B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.351 (beta), P.1 (gamma), B.1.429 (epsilon), B.1.526 (iota), A.23.1, and R.1 variants. We found that 14 of 15 single antibodies were vulnerable to at least one RBD substitution, but most combination and polyclonal therapeutic antibodies remained potent. Key substitutions in variants with multiple spike substitutions predicted resistance, but the degree of resistance could be modified in unpredictable ways by other spike substitutions that may reside outside the RBD. These findings highlight the importance of assessing antibody potency in the context of all substitutions in a variant and show that epistatic interactions in spike can modify virus susceptibility to therapeutic antibodies. IMPORTANCE Therapeutic antibodies are effective in preventing severe disease from SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19), but their effectiveness may be reduced by virus variants with mutations affecting the spike protein. To help predict resistance to therapeutic antibodies in emerging variants, we profiled resistance patterns of 25 antibody products in late stages of clinical development against a large panel of variants that include single and multiple substitutions found in the spike protein. We found that the presence of a key substitution in variants with multiple spike substitutions can predict resistance against a variant but that other substitutions can affect the degree of resistance in unpredictable ways. These findings highlight complex interactions among substitutions in the spike protein affecting virus neutralization and, potentially, virus entry into cells.

Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Substitution , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572661


The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 lineage variants, Kappa (B.1.617.1) and Delta (B.1.617.2, AY) emerged during the second wave of infections in India, but the Delta variants have become dominant worldwide and continue to evolve. Here, we compared B.1.617 variants for neutralization resistance by convalescent sera, mRNA vaccine-elicited sera, and therapeutic neutralizing antibodies using a pseudovirus neutralization assay. B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2, and AY.1 pseudoviruses showed a modest 1.5- to 4.4-fold reduction in neutralization by convalescent sera and vaccine-elicited sera. In comparison, similar modest reductions were also observed for C.37, P.1, R.1, and B.1.526 pseudoviruses, but 7- and 16-fold reductions for vaccine-elicited and convalescent sera, respectively, were seen for B.1.351 pseudoviruses. Among twenty-three therapeutic antibodies tested, four antibodies showed either complete or partial loss of neutralization against B.1.617.2 pseudoviruses and six antibodies showed either complete or partial loss of neutralization against B.1.617.1 and AY.1 pseudoviruses. Our results indicate that the current mRNA-based vaccines will likely remain effective in protecting against B.1.617 variants. Finally, the P681R substitution confers efficient cleavage of B.1.617 variants' spike proteins and the spike of Delta variants exhibited greater sensitivity to soluble ACE2 neutralization, as well as fusogenic activity, which may contribute to enhanced spread of Delta variants.

Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigenic Variation , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Fusion , Furin/metabolism , Humans , Protein Binding , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology