SARS-CoV-2 is one of three coronaviruses that have crossed the animal-to-human barrier and caused widespread disease in the past two decades. The development of a universal human coronavirus vaccine could prevent future pandemics. We characterized 198 antibodies isolated from four COVID19+ subjects and identified 14 SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. One targeted the NTD, one recognized an epitope in S2 and eleven bound the RBD. Three anti-RBD neutralizing antibodies cross-neutralized SARS-CoV-1 by effectively blocking binding of both the SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 RBDs to the ACE2 receptor. Using the K18-hACE transgenic mouse model, we demonstrate that the neutralization potency and antibody epitope specificity regulates the in vivo protective potential of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. All four cross-neutralizing antibodies neutralized the B.1.351 mutant strain. Thus, our study reveals that epitopes in S2 can serve as blueprints for the design of immunogens capable of eliciting cross-neutralizing coronavirus antibodies.

Fuente: Cell Reports