Less neutralization evasion of SARS-CoV-2 BA.2.86 than XBB sublineages and CH.1.1

Yanping Hu, Jing Zou, Chaitanya Kurhade, Xiangxue Deng, Hope C. Chang, Debora K. Kim, Pei-Yong Shi, Ping Ren, Xuping Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The highly mutated BA.2.86, with over 30 spike protein mutations in comparison to Omicron BA.2 and XBB.1.5 variants, has raised concerns about its potential to evade COVID-19 vaccination or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection-elicited immunity. In this study, we employ a live SARS-CoV-2 neutralization assay to compare the neutralization evasion ability of BA.2.86 with other emerged SARS-CoV-2 subvariants, including BA.2-derived CH.1.1, Delta-Omicron recombinant XBC.1.6, and XBB descendants XBB.1.5, XBB.1.16, XBB.2.3, EG.5.1 and FL.1.5.1. Our results show that BA.2.86 is less neutralization evasive than XBB sublineages. XBB descendants XBB.1.16, EG.5.1, and FL.1.5.1 continue to significantly evade neutralization induced by the parental COVID-19 mRNA vaccine and a BA.5 Bivalent booster. Notably, when compared to XBB.1.5, the more recent XBB descendants, particularly EG.5.1, display increased resistance to neutralization. Among all the tested variants, CH.1.1 exhibits the greatest neutralization evasion. In contrast, XBC.1.6 shows a slight reduction but remains comparably sensitive to neutralization when compared to BA.5. Furthermore, a recent XBB.1.5-breakthrough infection significantly enhances the breadth and potency of cross-neutralization. These findings reinforce the expectation that the upcoming XBB.1.5 mRNA vaccine would likely boost the neutralization of currently circulating variants, while also underscoring the critical importance of ongoing surveillance to monitor the evolution and immune evasion potential of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2271089
JournalEmerging Microbes and Infections
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • BA.2.86
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • mRNA vaccine
  • neutralization
  • variants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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