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1.
Nature ; 614(7948): 521-529, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2239514

ABSTRACT

Continuous evolution of Omicron has led to a rapid and simultaneous emergence of numerous variants that display growth advantages over BA.5 (ref. 1). Despite their divergent evolutionary courses, mutations on their receptor-binding domain (RBD) converge on several hotspots. The driving force and destination of such sudden convergent evolution and its effect on humoral immunity remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that these convergent mutations can cause evasion of neutralizing antibody drugs and convalescent plasma, including those from BA.5 breakthrough infection, while maintaining sufficient ACE2-binding capability. BQ.1.1.10 (BQ.1.1 + Y144del), BA.4.6.3, XBB and CH.1.1 are the most antibody-evasive strains tested. To delineate the origin of the convergent evolution, we determined the escape mutation profiles and neutralization activity of monoclonal antibodies isolated from individuals who had BA.2 and BA.5 breakthrough infections2,3. Owing to humoral immune imprinting, BA.2 and especially BA.5 breakthrough infection reduced the diversity of the neutralizing antibody binding sites and increased proportions of non-neutralizing antibody clones, which, in turn, focused humoral immune pressure and promoted convergent evolution in the RBD. Moreover, we show that the convergent RBD mutations could be accurately inferred by deep mutational scanning profiles4,5, and the evolution trends of BA.2.75 and BA.5 subvariants could be well foreseen through constructed convergent pseudovirus mutants. These results suggest that current herd immunity and BA.5 vaccine boosters may not efficiently prevent the infection of Omicron convergent variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Antigenic Drift and Shift , COVID-19 , Evolution, Molecular , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Breakthrough Infections/immunology , Breakthrough Infections/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serotherapy , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Domains/immunology , Antigenic Drift and Shift/immunology , Mutation
2.
Nature ; 608(7923): 603-608, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1921637

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/5 have surged notably to become dominant in the United States and South Africa, respectively1,2. These new subvariants carrying further mutations in their spike proteins raise concerns that they may further evade neutralizing antibodies, thereby further compromising the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutic monoclonals. We now report findings from a systematic antigenic analysis of these surging Omicron subvariants. BA.2.12.1 is only modestly (1.8-fold) more resistant to sera from vaccinated and boosted individuals than BA.2. However, BA.4/5 is substantially (4.2-fold) more resistant and thus more likely to lead to vaccine breakthrough infections. Mutation at spike residue L452 found in both BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/5 facilitates escape from some antibodies directed to the so-called class 2 and 3 regions of the receptor-binding domain3. The F486V mutation found in BA.4/5 facilitates escape from certain class 1 and 2 antibodies but compromises the spike affinity for the viral receptor. The R493Q reversion mutation, however, restores receptor affinity and consequently the fitness of BA.4/5. Among therapeutic antibodies authorized for clinical use, only bebtelovimab retains full potency against both BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/5. The Omicron lineage of SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve, successively yielding subvariants that are not only more transmissible but also more evasive to antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Antigenic Drift and Shift , COVID-19 , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Antigenic Drift and Shift/genetics , Antigenic Drift and Shift/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
3.
Nature ; 608(7923): 593-602, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900499

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron sublineages BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 exhibit higher transmissibility than the BA.2 lineage1. The receptor binding and immune-evasion capability of these recently emerged variants require immediate investigation. Here, coupled with structural comparisons of the spike proteins, we show that BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 (BA.4 and BA.5 are hereafter referred collectively to as BA.4/BA.5) exhibit similar binding affinities to BA.2 for the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Of note, BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 display increased evasion of neutralizing antibodies compared with BA.2 against plasma from triple-vaccinated individuals or from individuals who developed a BA.1 infection after vaccination. To delineate the underlying antibody-evasion mechanism, we determined the escape mutation profiles2, epitope distribution3 and Omicron-neutralization efficiency of 1,640 neutralizing antibodies directed against the receptor-binding domain of the viral spike protein, including 614 antibodies isolated from people who had recovered from BA.1 infection. BA.1 infection after vaccination predominantly recalls humoral immune memory directed against ancestral (hereafter referred to as wild-type (WT)) SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The resulting elicited antibodies could neutralize both WT SARS-CoV-2 and BA.1 and are enriched on epitopes on spike that do not bind ACE2. However, most of these cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies are evaded by spike mutants L452Q, L452R and F486V. BA.1 infection can also induce new clones of BA.1-specific antibodies that potently neutralize BA.1. Nevertheless, these neutralizing antibodies are largely evaded by BA.2 and BA.4/BA.5 owing to D405N and F486V mutations, and react weakly to pre-Omicron variants, exhibiting narrow neutralization breadths. The therapeutic neutralizing antibodies bebtelovimab4 and cilgavimab5 can effectively neutralize BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5, whereas the S371F, D405N and R408S mutations undermine most broadly sarbecovirus-neutralizing antibodies. Together, our results indicate that Omicron may evolve mutations to evade the humoral immunity elicited by BA.1 infection, suggesting that BA.1-derived vaccine boosters may not achieve broad-spectrum protection against new Omicron variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Antigenic Drift and Shift , COVID-19 , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Immune Tolerance , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigenic Drift and Shift/genetics , Antigenic Drift and Shift/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Secondary , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
4.
Nature ; 602(7898): 664-670, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616991

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant encodes 37 amino acid substitutions in the spike protein, 15 of which are in the receptor-binding domain (RBD), thereby raising concerns about the effectiveness of available vaccines and antibody-based therapeutics. Here we show that the Omicron RBD binds to human ACE2 with enhanced affinity, relative to the Wuhan-Hu-1 RBD, and binds to mouse ACE2. Marked reductions in neutralizing activity were observed against Omicron compared to the ancestral pseudovirus in plasma from convalescent individuals and from individuals who had been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, but this loss was less pronounced after a third dose of vaccine. Most monoclonal antibodies that are directed against the receptor-binding motif lost in vitro neutralizing activity against Omicron, with only 3 out of 29 monoclonal antibodies retaining unaltered potency, including the ACE2-mimicking S2K146 antibody1. Furthermore, a fraction of broadly neutralizing sarbecovirus monoclonal antibodies neutralized Omicron through recognition of antigenic sites outside the receptor-binding motif, including sotrovimab2, S2X2593 and S2H974. The magnitude of Omicron-mediated immune evasion marks a major antigenic shift in SARS-CoV-2. Broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies that recognize RBD epitopes that are conserved among SARS-CoV-2 variants and other sarbecoviruses may prove key to controlling the ongoing pandemic and future zoonotic spillovers.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigenic Drift and Shift/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigenic Drift and Shift/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Convalescence , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vesiculovirus/genetics
5.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(12): e1010022, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546978

ABSTRACT

Vaccines are proving to be highly effective in controlling hospitalisation and deaths associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection but the emergence of viral variants with novel antigenic profiles threatens to diminish their efficacy. Assessment of the ability of sera from vaccine recipients to neutralise SARS-CoV-2 variants will inform the success of strategies for minimising COVID19 cases and the design of effective antigenic formulations. Here, we examine the sensitivity of variants of concern (VOCs) representative of the B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 (first associated with infections in India) and B.1.351 (first associated with infection in South Africa) lineages of SARS-CoV-2 to neutralisation by sera from individuals vaccinated with the BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) and ChAdOx1 (Oxford/AstraZeneca) vaccines. Across all vaccinated individuals, the spike glycoproteins from B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 conferred reductions in neutralisation of 4.31 and 5.11-fold respectively. The reduction seen with the B.1.617.2 lineage approached that conferred by the glycoprotein from B.1.351 (South African) variant (6.29-fold reduction) that is known to be associated with reduced vaccine efficacy. Neutralising antibody titres elicited by vaccination with two doses of BNT162b2 were significantly higher than those elicited by vaccination with two doses of ChAdOx1. Fold decreases in the magnitude of neutralisation titre following two doses of BNT162b2, conferred reductions in titre of 7.77, 11.30 and 9.56-fold respectively to B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.351 pseudoviruses, the reduction in neutralisation of the delta variant B.1.617.2 surpassing that of B.1.351. Fold changes in those vaccinated with two doses of ChAdOx1 were 0.69, 4.01 and 1.48 respectively. The accumulation of mutations in these VOCs, and others, demonstrate the quantifiable risk of antigenic drift and subsequent reduction in vaccine efficacy. Accordingly, booster vaccines based on updated variants are likely to be required over time to prevent productive infection. This study also suggests that two dose regimes of vaccine are required for maximal BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1-induced immunity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Immunization, Secondary , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccine Efficacy , Antigenic Drift and Shift/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/administration & dosage , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , HEK293 Cells , Humans
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