Vaccination with SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern protects mice from challenge with wild-type virus.

Change log
Strohmeier, Shirin 
Meade, Philip S 
Dambrauskas, Nicholas 
Mühlemann, Barbara  ORCID logo

Vaccines against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been highly efficient in protecting against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the emergence of viral variants that are more transmissible and, in some cases, escape from neutralizing antibody responses has raised concerns. Here, we evaluated recombinant protein spike antigens derived from wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and from variants B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1 for their immunogenicity and protective effect in vivo against challenge with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 in the mouse model. All proteins induced high neutralizing antibodies against the respective viruses but also induced high cross-neutralizing antibody responses. The decline in neutralizing titers between variants was moderate, with B.1.1.7-vaccinated animals having a maximum fold reduction of 4.8 against B.1.351 virus. P.1 induced the most cross-reactive antibody responses but was also the least immunogenic in terms of homologous neutralization titers. However, all antigens protected from challenge with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 in a mouse model.


Funder: open philanthropy project

Funder: jpb foundation

Animals, Antibodies, Neutralizing, Antibodies, Viral, COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccines, Chlorocebus aethiops, Cross Reactions, Female, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, SARS-CoV-2, Vero Cells
Journal Title
PLoS Biol
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Public Library of Science (PLoS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH) (via Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM)) (HHSN272201400008C)
National Institutes of Health (NIH) (via Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM)) (0258-0513/HHSN272201400008C)