Neutralization, effector function and immune imprinting of Omicron variants
Recent variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, such as BQ.1.1 and XBB.1.5, have developed specific mutations in their spike proteins, which affect how the virus interacts with human cells and the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments. This study found that these variants bind more tightly to human ACE2 receptors and fuse with human cells more efficiently than earlier Omicron variants. However, a particular antibody called sotrovimab can still effectively neutralize these variants and protect against infection. Additionally, antibodies produced by vaccinated individuals can recognize and defend against these variants, even if their ability to neutralize the virus is somewhat reduced. This research highlights the importance of ongoing immunity from previous exposures.
Addetia, A., Piccoli, L., Case, J.B. et al. Neutralization, effector function and immune imprinting of Omicron variants. Nature 621, 592–601 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06487-6