New insights on antibody responses to Omicron variants: Understanding antibody responses will be key to offset coronavirus variants’ evasion of earlier immunity

Knowing how well vaccination against one SARS-CoV-2 strain (with or without previous infection) counteracts infection with a different strain is a critical research question. The answers could guide strategies to continue to subdue the COVID pandemic, even as the coronavirus regains ground.

Recent scientific studies in this area have been led by the labs of David Veesler, associate professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington in Seattle and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and Davide Corti of Humabs BioMed SA of Vir Biotechnology in Switzerland.

Their latest findings appear in this week’s Science magazine in the paper “Imprinted antibody response against SARS-CoV-2 Omiron sublineages.”

The lead authors on the paper are Young-Jun-Park, Dora Pinto, Alexandra C. Walls and, Zhuoming Liu. Young-Jun-Park and Lexi Walls are from the Veesler lab, Dora Pinto is from the Corti lab, and Zhuoming Liu is at Washington University in St. Louis.

The international team looked at several aspects of the effects of exposure to earlier forms of the SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen — or immune-provoking protein — on the immune system’s reaction to the Omicron variants.

The Omicron variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus appeared at the end of 2021 and have marked genetic differences from the ancestral SARS-CoV-2. The many, distinct mutations in their infection machinery have enabled them to escape from antibodies elicited from the original series of vaccines, from a history of infection, or from both of those two immune-system training events.

Source: Read Full Article