Research Highlights: SARS-CoV-2 Variant More Difficult to be Killed by Immune Responses from Natural Infection or Vaccination
- The COVID-19 virus has caused more than 2 million deaths just over a year.
- Vaccines are being introduced to produce immune responses against the virus.
- The process of viral replication is prone to nucleic acid errors which can lead to mutant viruses and escape from antibody responses.
- Variant B.1.1.7 is dominating in the United Kingdom with increased transmission.
- The variant possesses 9 amino acid mutations in the spike protein which includes N501Y in the ACE2 interacting surface.
- Researchers examined how the variant evade antibody responses induced by COVID-19 natural viral infection and vaccination.
- The study mapped the impact of N501Y by structural and functional analyses of well-characterized monoclonal antibodies.
- The variant is more difficult to neutralize than the parental virus.
- Escape from monoclonal antibodies or antibody responses induced by natural infection or vaccination was not observed.
Supasa, P., Zhou, D., Dejnirattisai, W., Liu, C., Mentzer, A. J., Ginn, H. M., Zhao, Y., Duyvesteyn, H., Nutalai, R., Tuekprakhon, A., Wang, B., Paesen, G. C., Slon-Campos, J., López-Camacho, C., Hallis, B., Coombes, N., Bewley, K. R., Charlton, S., Walter, T. S., Barnes, E., … Screaton, G. R. (2021). Reduced neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant by convalescent and vaccine sera. Cell, S0092-8674(21)00222-1. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.02.033