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Rapid escape of new SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants from BA.2 directed antibody responses

Dijokaite-Guraliuc, Aiste, Das, Raksha, Zhou, Daming, Ginn, Helen M., Liu, Chang, Duyvesteyn, Helen M.E., Huo, Jiandong, Nutalai, Rungtiwa, Supasa, Piyada, Selvaraj, Muneeswaran, and others. (2023) Rapid escape of new SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants from BA.2 directed antibody responses. Cell Reports, 42 (4). Article Number 112271. ISSN 2211-1247. (doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112271) (KAR id:100432)


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.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112271
Additional information: For the purpose of open access, the author(s) has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising.
Uncontrolled keywords: SARS-CoV-2, BA.2, variant, mutation, RBD, antibodies, binding site, breakthrough, neutralizing, structure, COVID-19, CP: Immunology, CP: Microbiology
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Medway School of Pharmacy
Funders: Wellcome Trust (
British Heart Foundation (
National Institute for Health Research (
Medical Research Council (
Depositing User: Nigel Temperton
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2023 14:45 UTC
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2024 11:54 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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