The COVID-19 pandemic urgently needs therapeutic and prophylactic interventions. Here, we report the rapid identification of SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies by high-throughput single-cell RNA and VDJ sequencing of antigen-enriched B cells from 60 convalescent patients. From 8,558 antigen-binding IgG1+ clonotypes, 14 potent neutralizing antibodies were identified, with the most potent one, BD-368-2, exhibiting an IC50 of 1.2 and 15 ng/mL against pseudotyped and authentic SARS-CoV-2, respectively. BD-368-2 also displayed strong therapeutic and prophylactic efficacy in SARS-CoV-2-infected hACE2-transgenic mice. Additionally, the 3.8 Å cryo-EM structure of a neutralizing antibody in complex with the spike-ectodomain trimer revealed the antibody's epitope overlaps with the ACE2 binding site. Moreover, we demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies could be directly selected based on similarities of their predicted CDR3H structures to those of SARS-CoV-neutralizing antibodies. Altogether, we showed that human neutralizing antibodies could be efficiently discovered by high-throughput single B cell sequencing in response to pandemic infectious diseases.
Keywords: B cell; CDR3; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; convalescent patient; neutralizing antibody; single-cell sequencing.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.