SARS-CoV-2 Variant B.1.1.7 is Susceptible to Neutralizing Antibodies Elicited by Ancestral Spike Vaccines
45 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2021 Publication Status: PublishedMore...
The SARS-CoV-2 Spike glycoprotein mediates virus entry and is a major target for neutralizing antibodies. All current vaccines are based on the ancestral Spike with the goal of generating a protective neutralizing antibody response. Several novel SARS-CoV-2 variants with multiple Spike mutations have emerged, and their rapid spread and potential for immune escape have raised concerns. One of these variants, first identified in the United Kingdom, B.1.1.7 (also called VUI202012/01), contains eight Spike mutations with potential to impact antibody therapy, vaccine efficacy and risk of reinfection. Here we employed a lentivirus-based pseudovirus assay to show that variant B.1.1.7 remains sensitive to neutralization, albeit at moderately reduced levels (~2-fold), by serum samples from convalescent individuals and recipients of two different vaccines based on ancestral Spike: mRNA-1273 (Moderna) and protein nanoparticle NVX-CoV2373 (Novavax). Some monoclonal antibodies to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of Spike were less effective against the variant while others were largely unaffected. These findings indicate that B.1.1.7 is not a neutralization escape variant that would be a major concern for current vaccines, or for an increased risk of reinfection.
Funding: Original data and specimens for Protocol 20-0003 were supported by the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. KW and BK were supported by LANL LDRD 20190441ER. DCM, XS, HT, and CM were supported bythe COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) and the National Institute of Health. DL, BFH, and KOS were supported by a grant from the State of North Carolina from federal CARES Act funds, and NIAID grant AI142596.
Conflict of Interest: Rolando Pajon is an employee of Moderna, Inc. Filip, Dubovsky, Gale Smith and Gregory M. Glenn are employees of Novavax, Inc. The remaining authors have no competing interests.
Ethical Approval: Clinical trials described in this manuscript were approved by the appropriate Institutional Review Boards (IRBs).
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation