Spike recognition and neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants elicited after the third dose of mRNA vaccine

Cell Rep. 2023 Jan 31;42(1):111998. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.111998. Epub 2023 Jan 9.


Several severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron subvariants have recently emerged, becoming the dominant circulating strains in many countries. These variants contain a large number of mutations in their spike glycoprotein, raising concerns about vaccine efficacy. In this study, we evaluate the ability of plasma from a cohort of individuals that received three doses of mRNA vaccine to recognize and neutralize these Omicron subvariant spikes. We observed that BA.4/5 and BQ.1.1 spikes are markedly less recognized and neutralized compared with the D614G and other Omicron subvariant spikes tested. Also, individuals who have been infected before or after vaccination present better humoral responses than SARS-CoV-2-naive vaccinated individuals, thus indicating that hybrid immunity generates better humoral responses against these subvariants.

Keywords: B cell responses; COVID-19; CP: Immunology; Omicron subvariants; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; humoral responses; hybrid immunity; neutralization; spike glycoproteins; third mRNA vaccine dose.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • SARS-CoV-2* / genetics
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • mRNA Vaccines


  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing

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