Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine can protect against several new SARS-CoV-2 mutants. mBio. Furthermore, however, the study found that the only monoclonal antibody therapy approved for SARS-CoV-2 may not be very effective against the mutant in laboratory experiments. Did.
To carry out this study, researchers created a panel of pseudoviruses. This is a replication-deficient viral particle formed by the structural and enzyme cores of one virus and the coat glycoprotein of another virus, which is a combination of the HIV virus and SARS-CoV-2 spikes. protein. Pseudoviruses have proven to be useful as research tools and have little associated risk.
“The SARS-CoV-2 peaplomer is important because it is the only structure that is exposed to the outside of the virus. The peaplomer is what the immune system recognizes and the virus. Allows the virus to attach to target cells, “said Dr. Nathaniel Landau, Department of Microbiology, Grossman School of Medicine, University of New York, in a press release.
Researchers have chosen HIV as the chimeric virus for two reasons. One is that HIV accepts almost all virus-spiked proteins. Second, the HIV virus is designed to carry two reporter genes, allowing you to study virus invasion, antibody binding, and antibody neutralization.
“Peplomer pseudo-lentiviruses are very useful tools. They were developed during the course of HIV research. They have less biohazard and are easier to work in the lab,” Landau said.
Researchers have created a pseudoviral panel using peplomers from six different SARS-CoV-2 variants and have been vaccinated with the Pfizer SARS CoV-2 vaccine or have already been vaccinated with COVID-19. Was mixed with the serum of. Researchers have found that convalescent sera neutralize the pseudovirus with six mutants, resulting in a slight decrease in titer. In addition, studies show that Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccination against the majority of variants, similar to previous viruses, except for South African and Brazilian variants, which were eliminated by a one-third reduction. And worked as well. By titer. According to the authors of the study, the reduction is due to a mutation E484K.
“Our interpretation of the results is that vaccine antibodies are so powerful that even if they lose three times their titer, there are still plenty of antibodies to neutralize the virus. We believe that shows that we maintain protection against the mutants we tested, “Randau said in the release. “Although not reported in this treatise, we performed the same experiment with the Moderna vaccine and obtained similar results.”
In another experiment, REGN-COV2 from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, a combination of two recombinant monoclonal antibodies, casilibimab and imdebimab, was tested. This combination is effective in reducing symptoms in patients with COVID-19 and preventing them from being admitted to the intensive care unit. Researchers have found that cacilibamab lost some of its neutralizing activity against mutants in South Africa and Brazil, reducing the potency of combination therapies by 9 to 15-fold.
“One of the Regeneron antibodies is affected by the E484K mutation, which results in the cocktail losing some of its neutralizing activity,” Landau said. “The question in this study is” how test results are translated into clinical efficacy, that is, what happens when a patient infected with one of the mutants is treated? ” I can’t say for sure. We only know when clinical data will come in. “
Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine defensive against SARS-CoV-2 mutants [news release].. EurekAlert; June 10, 2021. Accessed on June 14, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-06/asfm-pcv061021.php
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