In November 2021 Omicron BA.1, containing a raft of new spike mutations emerged and quickly spread globally. Intense selection pressure to escape the antibody response produced by vaccines or SARS-CoV-2 infection then led to a rapid succession of Omicron sub-lineages with waves of BA.2 then BA.4/5 infection. Recently, many variants have emerged such as BQ.1 and XBB, which carry up to 8 additional RBD amino-acid substitutions compared to BA.2. We describe a panel of 25 potent mAbs generated from vaccinees suffering BA.2 breakthrough infections. Epitope mapping shows potent mAb binding shifting to 3 clusters, 2 corresponding to early-pandemic binding hotspots. The RBD mutations in recent variants map close to these binding sites and knock out or severely knock down neutralization activity of all but 1 potent mAb. This recent mAb escape corresponds with large falls in neutralization titre of vaccine or BA.1, BA.2 or BA.4/5 immune serum.

Fuente: Cell Reports
Available online 7 March 2023, 112271