Broad neutralization against SARS-CoV-2 variants induced by a modified B.1.351 protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate
David M Salisbury,
Joshua G. Liang
Posted 17 May 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.05.16.444369
Posted 17 May 2021
Beginning in late 2020, the emergence and spread of multiple variant SARS-CoV-2 strains harboring mutations which may enable immune escape necessitates the rapid evaluation of second generation COVID-19 vaccines, with the goal of inducing optimized immune responses that are broadly protective. Here we demonstrate in a mouse immunogenicity study that two doses of a modified B.1.351 spike (S)-Trimer vaccine (B.1.351 S-Trimer) candidate can induce strong humoral immune responses that can broadly neutralize both the original SARS-CoV-2 strain (Wuhan-Hu-1) and Variants of Concern (VOCs), including the UK variant (B.1.1.7), South African variant (B.1.351) and Brazil variant (P.1). Furthermore, while immunization with two doses (prime-boost) of Prototype S-Trimer vaccine (based on the original SARS-CoV-2 strain) induced lower levels of cross-reactive neutralization against the B.1.351 variant, a third dose (booster) administered with either Prototype S-Trimer or B.1.351 S-Trimer was able to increase neutralizing antibody titers against B.1.351 to levels comparable to neutralizing antibody titers against the original strain elicited by two doses of Prototype S-Trimer.
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