Distinct sensitivities to SARS-CoV-2 variants in vaccinated humans and mice

Cell Rep. 2022 Aug 30;40(9):111299. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111299. Epub 2022 Aug 15.


The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019 has led to the development of a large number of vaccines, several of which are now approved for use in humans. Understanding vaccine-elicited antibody responses against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) in real time is key to inform public health policies. Serum neutralizing antibody titers are the current best correlate of protection from SARS-CoV-2 challenge in non-human primates and a key metric to understand immune evasion of VOCs. We report that vaccinated BALB/c mice do not recapitulate faithfully the breadth and potency of neutralizing antibody responses elicited by various vaccine platforms against VOCs, compared with non-human primates or humans, suggesting caution should be exercised when interpreting data obtained with this animal model.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT05007951.

Keywords: COVID-19; CP: Immunology; CP: Microbiology; SARS-CoV-2; antibodies; humans; mouse; non-human primates; vaccines.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Primates
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
  • Viral Vaccines*


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

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT05007951