Antibodies elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection or mRNA vaccines have reduced neutralizing activity against Beta and Omicron pseudoviruses
Sievers BL, Chakraborty S, Xue Y, Gelbart T, Gonzalez JC, Cassidy AG, Golan Y, Prahl M, Gaw SL, Arunachalam PS, Blish CA, Boyd SD, Davis MM, Jagannathan P, Nadeau KC, Pulendran B, Singh U, Scheuermann RH, Frieman MB, Vashee S, Wang TT, Tan GS
Multiple severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants that have mutations associated with increased transmission and antibody escape have arisen over the course of the current pandemic. Although the current vaccines have largely been effective against past variants, the number of mutations found on the Omicron (B.1.1.529) spike protein appear to diminish the protection conferred by preexisting immunity. Using vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) pseudoparticles expressing the spike protein of several SARS-CoV-2 variants, we evaluated the magnitude and breadth of the neutralizing antibody response over time in individuals after infection and in mRNA-vaccinated individuals. We observed that boosting increases the magnitude of the antibody response to wild-type (D614), Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants; however, the Omicron variant was the most resistant to neutralization. We further observed that vaccinated healthy adults had robust and broad antibody responses, whereas responses may have been reduced in vaccinated pregnant women, underscoring the importance of learning how to maximize mRNA vaccine responses in pregnant populations. Findings from this study show substantial heterogeneity in the magnitude and breadth of responses after infection and mRNA vaccination and may support the addition of more conserved viral antigens to existing SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.