Reduced binding and neutralization of infection- and vaccine-induced antibodies to the B.1.351 (South African) SARS-CoV-2 variant.bioRxiv. 2021 Feb 22B
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutations in the spike protein is raising concerns about the efficacy of infection- or vaccine-induced antibodies to neutralize these variants. We compared antibody binding and live virus neutralization of sera from naturally infected and spike mRNA vaccinated individuals against a circulating SARS-CoV-2 B.1 variant and the emerging B.1.351 variant. In acutely-infected (5-19 days post-symptom onset), convalescent COVID-19 individuals (through 8 months post-symptom onset) and mRNA-1273 vaccinated individuals (day 14 post-second dose), we observed an average 4.3-fold reduction in antibody titers to the B.1.351-derived receptor binding domain of the spike protein and an average 3.5-fold reduction in neutralizing antibody titers to the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 variant as compared to the B.1 variant (spike D614G). However, most acute and convalescent sera from infected and all vaccinated individuals neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 variant, suggesting that protective immunity is retained against COVID-19.