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Characterization of the immune resistance of SARS-CoV-2 Mu variant and the immunity induced by Mu infection

By Keiya Uriu, Paul A Cardenas, Erika Munoz, Veronica Barragan, Yusuke Kosugi, Kotaro Shirakawa, Akifumi Takaori-Kondo, Ecuador-COVID19 Consortium, The Genotype to Phenotype Japan (G2P-Japan) Consortium, Kei Sato

Posted 24 Nov 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.11.23.469770

We have revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 Mu variant is highly resistant to COVID-19 convalescent sera and vaccine sera. However, it remains unclear how the immune resistance of the Mu variant is determined. Also, although the Mu variant is highly resistant to the sera obtained from COVID-19 convalescent during early pandemic (i.e., infected with prototypic virus) and vaccinated individuals (i.e., immunized based on prototypic virus), it was unaddressed how the convalescent sera from Mu-infected individuals function. In this study, we revealed that the two mutations in the spike protein of Mu variant, YY144-145TSN and E484K, are responsible for the potent immune resistance of Mu variant. Additionally, we showed that the convalescent sera obtained from the Mu-infected individuals can be broadly antiviral against the Mu variant as well as other SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern/interest. Our findings suggest that developing novel vaccines based on the Mu variant can be more effective against a broad range of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

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