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Cell ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1601904


On the 24th November 2021 the sequence of a new SARS CoV-2 viral isolate Omicron-B.1.1.529 was announced, containing far more mutations in Spike (S) than previously reported variants. Neutralization titres of Omicron by sera from vaccinees and convalescent subjects infected with early pandemic as well as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta are substantially reduced or fail to neutralize. Titres against Omicron are boosted by third vaccine doses and are high in cases both vaccinated and infected by Delta. Mutations in Omicron knock out or substantially reduce neutralization by most of a large panel of potent monoclonal antibodies and antibodies under commercial development. Omicron S has structural changes from earlier viruses, combining mutations conferring tight binding to ACE2 to unleash evolution driven by immune escape, leading to a large number of mutations in the ACE2 binding site which rebalance receptor affinity to that of early pandemic viruses. A comprehensive analysis of sera from vaccinees, convalescent patients infected previously by multiple variants and potent monoclonal antibodies from early in the COVID-19 pandemic reveals a substantial overall reduction the ability to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, which a third vaccine dose seems to ameliorate. Structural analyses of the Omicron RBD suggest a selective pressure enabling the virus bind ACE2 with increased affinity that is offset by other changes in the receptor binding motif that facilitates immune escape.

Cell Host Microbe ; 30(1): 53-68.e12, 2022 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536483


Alpha-B.1.1.7, Beta-B.1.351, Gamma-P.1, and Delta-B.1.617.2 variants of SARS-CoV-2 express multiple mutations in the spike protein (S). These may alter the antigenic structure of S, causing escape from natural or vaccine-induced immunity. Beta is particularly difficult to neutralize using serum induced by early pandemic SARS-CoV-2 strains and is most antigenically separated from Delta. To understand this, we generated 674 mAbs from Beta-infected individuals and performed a detailed structure-function analysis of the 27 most potent mAbs: one binding the spike N-terminal domain (NTD), the rest the receptor-binding domain (RBD). Two of these RBD-binding mAbs recognize a neutralizing epitope conserved between SARS-CoV-1 and -2, while 18 target mutated residues in Beta: K417N, E484K, and N501Y. There is a major response to N501Y, including a public IgVH4-39 sequence, with E484K and K417N also targeted. Recognition of these key residues underscores why serum from Beta cases poorly neutralizes early pandemic and Delta viruses.

Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Neutralization Tests/methods , Protein Binding/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
Cell ; 184(16): 4220-4236.e13, 2021 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272328


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has undergone progressive change, with variants conferring advantage rapidly becoming dominant lineages, e.g., B.1.617. With apparent increased transmissibility, variant B.1.617.2 has contributed to the current wave of infection ravaging the Indian subcontinent and has been designated a variant of concern in the United Kingdom. Here we study the ability of monoclonal antibodies and convalescent and vaccine sera to neutralize B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2, complement this with structural analyses of Fab/receptor binding domain (RBD) complexes, and map the antigenic space of current variants. Neutralization of both viruses is reduced compared with ancestral Wuhan-related strains, but there is no evidence of widespread antibody escape as seen with B.1.351. However, B.1.351 and P.1 sera showed markedly more reduction in neutralization of B.1.617.2, suggesting that individuals infected previously by these variants may be more susceptible to reinfection by B.1.617.2. This observation provides important new insights for immunization policy with future variant vaccines in non-immune populations.

Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antigen-Antibody Complex/chemistry , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Chlorocebus aethiops , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells