In Vitro Efficacy of Antivirals and Monoclonal Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Lineages XBB.1.9.1, XBB.1.9.3, XBB.1.5, XBB.1.16, XBB.2.4, BQ.1.1.45, CH.1.1, and CL.1

Vaccines (Basel). 2023 Sep 28;11(10):1533. doi: 10.3390/vaccines11101533.


The spread of COVID-19 continues, expressed by periodic wave-like increases in morbidity and mortality. The reason for the periodic increases in morbidity is the emergence and spread of novel genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2. A decrease in the efficacy of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) has been reported, especially against Omicron subvariants. There have been reports of a decrease in the efficacy of specific antiviral drugs as a result of mutations in the genes of non-structural proteins. This indicates the urgent need for practical healthcare to constantly monitor pathogen variability and its effect on the efficacy of preventive and therapeutic drugs. As part of this study, we report the results of the continuous monitoring of COVID-19 in Moscow using genetic and virological methods. As a result of this monitoring, we determined the dominant genetic variants and identified the variants that are most widespread, not only in Moscow, but also in other countries. A collection of viruses from more than 500 SARS-CoV-2 isolates has been obtained and characterized. The genetic lines XBB.1.9.1, XBB.1.9.3, XBB.1.5, XBB.1.16, XBB.2.4, BQ.1.1.45, CH.1.1, and CL.1, representing the greatest concern, were identified among the dominant variants. We studied the in vitro efficacy of mAbs Tixagevimab + Cilgavimab (Evusheld), Sotrovimab, Regdanvimab, Casirivimab + Imdevimab (Ronapreve), and Bebtelovimab, as well as the specific antiviral drugs Remdesivir, Molnupiravir, and Nirmatrelvir, against these genetic lines. At the current stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of mAbs developed against early SARS-CoV-2 variants has little prospect. Specific antiviral drugs retain their activity, but further monitoring is needed to assess the risk of their efficacy being reduced and adjust recommendations for their use.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; antiviral drugs; drug resistance; mAb; therapies.