Infection and vaccine-induced antibody binding and neutralization to the B.1.351 SARS-CoV-2 variant Edara et al.
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. We compared antibody binding and live virus neutralization of sera from naturally infected and Moderna vaccinated individuals against two SARS-CoV-2 variants, B.1 containing the spike mutation D614G and the emerging B.1.351 variant containing additional spike mutations and deletions. Sera from acutely-infected and convalescent COVID-19 patients exhibited a 3-fold reduction in binding antibody titers to the B.1.351 variant receptor binding domain of the spike protein and a 3.5-fold reduction in neutralizing antibody titers against SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 variant compared to the B.1 variant. Similar results were seen with sera from Moderna vaccinated individuals. Despite reduced antibody titers against the B.1.351 variant, sera from infected and vaccinated individuals containing polyclonal antibodies to the spike protein could still neutralize SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351, suggesting that protective humoral immunity may be retained against this variant.