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Neutralization of recombinant RBD-subunit vaccine ZF2001-elicited antisera to SARS-CoV-2 variants including Delta

By Xin Zhao, Anqi Zheng, Dedong Li, Rong Zhang, Huan Sun, Qihui Wang, George Fu Gao, Pengcheng Han, Lianpan Dai

Posted 16 Jul 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.07.15.452504

SARS-CoV-2 variants brought new waves of infection worldwide. In particular, Delta variant (B.1.617.2 lineage) has become predominant in many countries. These variants raised the concern for their potential immune escape to the currently approved vaccines. ZF2001 is a subunit vaccine received emergency use authorization (EUA) in both China and Uzbekistan, with more than 100-million doses administrated with a three-dose regimen. The tandem-repeat dimer of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) was used as the antigen. In this work, we evaluated the neutralization of ZF2001-elicited antisera to SARS-CoV-2 variants including all four variants of concern (Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta) and other three variants of interest (Epsilon, Eta and Kappa) by pseudovirus-based assay. We found antisera preserved majority of the neutralizing activity against these variants. E484K/Q substitution is the key mutation to reduce the RBD-elicited sera neutralization. Moreover, ZF2001-elicited sera with a prolonged intervals between the second and third dose enhanced the neutralizing titers and resilience to SARS-CoV-2 variants.

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