Cross-reactive Antibody Response between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV Infections

Cell Rep. 2020 Jun 2;31(9):107725. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107725. Epub 2020 May 18.

Abstract

The World Health Organization has declared the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, which is caused by a novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic. There is currently a lack of knowledge about the antibody response elicited from SARS-CoV-2 infection. One major immunological question concerns antigenic differences between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV. We address this question by analyzing plasma from patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-CoV and from infected or immunized mice. Our results show that, although cross-reactivity in antibody binding to the spike protein is common, cross-neutralization of the live viruses may be rare, indicating the presence of a non-neutralizing antibody response to conserved epitopes in the spike. Whether such low or non-neutralizing antibody response leads to antibody-dependent disease enhancement needs to be addressed in the future. Overall, this study not only addresses a fundamental question regarding antigenicity differences between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV but also has implications for immunogen design and vaccine development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology*
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • Betacoronavirus / immunology*
  • COVID-19
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Coronavirus Infections / immunology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Cross Reactions / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral / immunology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control
  • Receptors, Virus / metabolism
  • SARS Virus / immunology*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / immunology
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Sf9 Cells
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus / immunology*
  • Vero Cells
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology

Substances

  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Receptors, Virus
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
  • Viral Vaccines