Characterizations of enhanced infectivity and antibody evasion of Omicron BA.2.75
Xiaoliang Sunney Xie,
Posted 19 Jul 2022
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2022.07.18.500332
Posted 19 Jul 2022
Recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariant, BA.2.75, displayed a local growth advantage over BA.2.38, BA.2.76 and BA.5 in India. The underlying mechanism of BA.2.75's enhanced infectivity, especially compared to BA.5, remains unclear. Here, we show that BA.2.75 exhibits substantially higher ACE2-binding affinity than BA.5. Also, BA.2.75 spike shows decreased thermostability and increased "up" RBD conformation in acidic conditions, suggesting enhanced low-pH-endosomal cell-entry pathway utilization. BA.2.75 is less humoral immune evasive than BA.4/BA.5 in BA.1/BA.2 breakthrough-infection convalescents; however, BA.2.75 shows heavier neutralization evasion in Delta breakthrough-infection convalescents. Importantly, plasma from BA.5 breakthrough infection exhibit significantly weaker neutralization against BA.2.75 than BA.5, mainly due to BA.2.75's distinct RBD and NTD-targeting antibody escaping pattern from BA.4/BA.5. Additionally, Evusheld and Bebtelovimab remain effective against BA.2.75, and Sotrovimab recovered RBD-binding affinity. Together, our results suggest BA.2.75 may prevail after the global BA.4/BA.5 wave, and its increased receptor-binding capability could allow further incorporation of immune-evasive mutations.
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