Resistance of SARS-CoV-2 variants to neutralization by antibodies induced in convalescent patients with COVID-19

Cell Rep. 2021 Jul 13;36(2):109385. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109385. Epub 2021 Jun 25.


Administration of convalescent plasma or neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is a potent therapeutic option for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. However, SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutations in the spike protein have emerged in many countries. To evaluate the efficacy of neutralizing antibodies induced in convalescent patients against emerging variants, we isolate anti-spike mAbs from two convalescent COVID-19 patients infected with prototypic SARS-CoV-2 by single-cell sorting of immunoglobulin-G-positive (IgG+) memory B cells. Anti-spike antibody induction is robust in these patients, and five mAbs have potent neutralizing activities. The efficacy of most neutralizing mAbs and convalescent plasma samples is maintained against B.1.1.7 and mink cluster 5 variants but is significantly decreased against variants B.1.351 from South Africa and P.1 from Brazil. However, mAbs with a high affinity for the receptor-binding domain remain effective against these neutralization-resistant variants. Rapid spread of these variants significantly impacts antibody-based therapies and vaccine strategies against SARS-CoV-2.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; mAb; neutralizing antibody; variant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / isolation & purification
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • COVID-19 / immunology*
  • COVID-19 / therapy*
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • COVID-19 Serotherapy
  • Cell Line
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Protein Domains
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology*
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus / genetics
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
  • spike protein, SARS-CoV-2