Epitope mapping of neutralising anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies: Implications for immunotherapy and vaccine design

Rev Med Virol. 2022 Sep;32(5):e2347. doi: 10.1002/rmv.2347. Epub 2022 Apr 8.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This disease has currently affected more than 346 million people and resulted in more than 5.5 million deaths in many countries. Neutralising monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against the SARS-CoV-2 virus could serve as prophylactic/therapeutic agents in COVID-19 infection by providing passive protection against the virus in individuals. Until now, no Food and Drug Administration/European Medicines Agency-approved neutralising MAb against SARS-CoV-2 virus exists in the market, though a number of MAbs have been authorised for emergency use. Therefore, there is an urgent need for development of efficient anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralising MAbs for use in the clinic. Moreover, neutralising anti-SARS-CoV-2 MAbs could be used as beneficial tools for designing epitope-based vaccines against the virus. Given that the target epitope of a MAb is a crucial feature influencing its neutralising potency, target epitopes of neutralising anti-SARS-CoV-2 MAbs already reported in the literature and reactivity of these MAbs with SARS-CoV-2 variants are reviewed herein.

Keywords: COVID-19; RBD; SARS-CoV-2 virus; epitope mapping; immunotherapy; neutralising monoclonal antibody.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral / therapeutic use
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Epitope Mapping
  • Epitopes
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Immunotherapy
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus


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

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants