Escape from neutralizing antibodies by SARS-CoV-2 spike protein variants
Julio C. C. Lorenzi,
Christopher D Hillyer,
Davide F. Robbiani,
Charles M. Rice,
Michel C. Nussenzweig,
Paul D. Bieniasz
Posted 22 Jul 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.21.214759
Posted 22 Jul 2020
Neutralizing antibodies elicited by prior infection or vaccination are likely to be key for future protection of individuals and populations against SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, passively administered antibodies are among the most promising therapeutic and prophylactic anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents. However, the degree to which SARS-CoV-2 will adapt to evade neutralizing antibodies is unclear. Using a recombinant chimeric VSV/SARS-CoV-2 reporter virus, we show that functional SARS-CoV-2 S protein variants with mutations in the receptor binding domain (RBD) and N-terminal domain that confer resistance to monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma can be readily selected. Notably, SARS-CoV-2 S variants that resist commonly elicited neutralizing antibodies are now present at low frequencies in circulating SARS-CoV-2 populations. Finally, the emergence of antibody-resistant SARS-CoV-2 variants that might limit the therapeutic usefulness of monoclonal antibodies can be mitigated by the use of antibody combinations that target distinct neutralizing epitopes. ### Competing Interest Statement Patent applications submitted by Rockefeller University are pending for anti SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (MCN, DR, inventors) and VSV/SARS-CoV-2 chimeric virus (PDB, TH, FS and YW, inventors)
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