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Cell Host Microbe ; 29(4): 529-539.e3, 2021 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309188


All current vaccines for COVID-19 utilize ancestral SARS-CoV-2 spike with the goal of generating protective neutralizing antibodies. The recent emergence and rapid spread of several SARS-CoV-2 variants carrying multiple spike mutations raise concerns about possible immune escape. One variant, first identified in the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7, also called 20I/501Y.V1), contains eight spike mutations with potential to impact antibody therapy, vaccine efficacy, and risk of reinfection. Here, we show that B.1.1.7 remains sensitive to neutralization, albeit at moderately reduced levels (∼sim;2-fold), by serum samples from convalescent individuals and recipients of an mRNA vaccine (mRNA-1273, Moderna) and a protein nanoparticle vaccine (NVX-CoV2373, Novavax). A subset of monoclonal antibodies to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of spike are less effective against the variant, while others are largely unaffected. These findings indicate that variant B.1.1.7 is unlikely to be a major concern for current vaccines or for an increased risk of reinfection.

Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
Cell ; 182(4): 812-827.e19, 2020 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-628613


A SARS-CoV-2 variant carrying the Spike protein amino acid change D614G has become the most prevalent form in the global pandemic. Dynamic tracking of variant frequencies revealed a recurrent pattern of G614 increase at multiple geographic levels: national, regional, and municipal. The shift occurred even in local epidemics where the original D614 form was well established prior to introduction of the G614 variant. The consistency of this pattern was highly statistically significant, suggesting that the G614 variant may have a fitness advantage. We found that the G614 variant grows to a higher titer as pseudotyped virions. In infected individuals, G614 is associated with lower RT-PCR cycle thresholds, suggestive of higher upper respiratory tract viral loads, but not with increased disease severity. These findings illuminate changes important for a mechanistic understanding of the virus and support continuing surveillance of Spike mutations to aid with development of immunological interventions.

Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Genetic Fitness , Genetic Variation , Geographic Information Systems , Hospitalization , Humans , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Load