SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination produces neutralizing antibody responses that contribute to better clinical outcomes. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) and the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the spike trimer (S) constitute the two major neutralizing targets for antibodies. Here, we use NTD-specific probes to capture anti-NTD memory B cells in a longitudinal cohort of infected individuals, some of whom were vaccinated. We found 6 complementation groups of neutralizing antibodies. 58% targeted epitopes outside the NTD supersite, 58% neutralized either Gamma or Omicron, and 14% were broad neutralizers that also neutralized Omicron. Structural characterization revealed that broadly active antibodies targeted three epitopes outside the NTD supersite including a class that recognized both the NTD and SD2 domain. Rapid recruitment of memory B cells producing these antibodies into the plasma cell compartment upon re-infection likely contributes to the relatively benign course of subsequent infections with SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Omicron.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; anti-NTD neutralizing antibodies.
Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.