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A single mRNA immunization boosts cross-variant neutralizing antibodies elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection

By Leonidas Stamatatos, Julie Czartoski, Yu-Hsin Wan, Leah Homad, Vanessa Rubin, Hayley Glantz, Moni Neradilek, Emilie Seydoux, Madeleine F Jennewein, Anna MacCamy, Junli Feng, Greogry Mize, Stephen C De Rosa, Andres Finzi, Maria Lemos, Kristen W Cohen, Zoe Moodie, M Juliana McElrath, Andrew McGuire

Posted 08 Feb 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.05.21251182

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have raised concerns about resistance to neutralizing antibodies elicited by previous infection or vaccination. We examined whether sera from recovered and naive donors collected prior to, and following immunizations with existing mRNA vaccines, could neutralize the Wuhan-Hu-1 and B.1.351 variants. Pre-vaccination sera from recovered donors neutralized Wuhan-Hu-1 and sporadically neutralized B.1.351, but a single immunization boosted neutralizing titers against all variants and SARS-CoV-1 by up to 1000-fold. Neutralization was due to antibodies targeting the receptor binding domain and was not boosted by a second immunization. Immunization of naive donors also elicited cross-neutralizing responses, but at lower titers. Our study highlights the importance of vaccinating both uninfected and previously infected persons to elicit cross-variant neutralizing antibodies.

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