Sunday, June 13

BNT162b2-elicited neutralization of B.1.617 and other SARS-CoV-2 variants –

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to evolve around the world, generating new variants that are of concern based on their potential for altered transmissibility, pathogenicity, and coverage by vaccines and therapeutics1–5. Here we report that 20 human sera, drawn 2 or 4 weeks after two doses of BNT162b2, neutralize engineered SARS-CoV-2 with a USA-WA1/2020 genetic background (a virus strain isolated in January 2020) and spike glycoproteins from the newly emerged B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2, B.1.618 (all first identified in India) or B.1.525 (first identified in Nigeria) lineages. Geometric mean plaque reduction neutralization titers against the variant viruses, particularly the B.1.617.1 variant, appear lower than the titer against USA-WA1/2020 virus, but all sera tested neutralize the variant viruses at titers of at least 40. The susceptibility of these newly emerged variants to BNT162b2 vaccine-elicited neutralization supports mass immunization as a central strategy to end the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic across geographies.

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