Neutralization against Omicron SARS-CoV-2 from previous non-Omicron infection

Jing Zou, Hongjie Xia, Xuping Xie, Chaitanya Kurhade, Rafael R.G. Machado, Scott C. Weaver, Ping Ren, Pei-Yong Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spread of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant underscores the importance of analyzing the cross-protection from previous non-Omicron infection. We have developed a high-throughput neutralization assay for Omicron SARS-CoV-2 by engineering the Omicron spike gene into an mNeonGreen USA-WA1/2020 SARS-CoV-2 (isolated in January 2020). Using this assay, we determine the neutralization titers (defined as the maximal serum dilution that inhibited 50% of infectious virus) of patient sera collected at 1- or 6-months after infection with non-Omicron SARS-CoV-2. From 1- to 6-month post-infection, the neutralization titers against USA-WA1/2020 decrease from 601 to 142 (a 4.2-fold reduction), while the neutralization titers against Omicron-spike SARS-CoV-2 remain low at 38 and 32, respectively. Thus, at 1- and 6-months after non-Omicron SARS-CoV-2 infection, the neutralization titers against Omicron are 15.8- and 4.4-fold lower than those against USA-WA1/2020, respectively. The low cross-neutralization against Omicron from previous non-Omicron infection supports vaccination of formerly infected individuals to mitigate the health impact of the ongoing Omicron surge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number852
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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