Molecular mechanisms responsible for SARS-CoV-2 antibody waning and vaccine escape in Omicron sublineages BA.4 and BA.5

  • Benjamin Hewins Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Canadian Centre for Vaccinology CCfV, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
  • Christopher Richardson Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Canadian Centre for Vaccinology CCfV, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
  • Salvatore Rubino Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
  • Alyson Kelvin Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Canadian Centre for Vaccinology CCfV, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
  • Ali Toloue Ostadgavahi Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Canadian Centre for Vaccinology CCfV, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
  • David J Kelvin Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Canadian Centre for Vaccinology CCfV, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
Keywords: Vaccination fatigue, vaccine-variant mismatch, antibody escape, variants of concern (VoCs), breakthrough infection

Abstract

Mutations in the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genome continue to threaten the global landscape of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) rapidly displaced previous ‘variants of concern’ (VoC) in 2021 due to its high rate of transmissibility and multitude of mutations. This global influx of infections saturated healthcare systems, overwhelmed testing capacity and case reporting, and increased the COVID-19 death toll. Global health leaders are now being faced with the most transmissible COVID-19 variants yet, the Omicron sublineages BA.4 and BA.5, which contain additional spike protein (S) mutations from previous Omicron and VoC serotypes. With universally observed antibody waning, increasing vaccine-variant mismatch, and resuming international travel, the stage is set for unprecedented levels of breakthrough infections and superspreading events. In this paper, we raise awareness to these novel variants and provide context for the high likelihood of an upcoming wave of infection capable of inflicting significant disease burden on a global scale.

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Author Biography

David J Kelvin, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Canadian Centre for Vaccinology CCfV, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

David J. Kelvin

Professor

Canada Research Chair in Translational Vaccinology and Inflammation

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Dalhousie University

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

B3H 4H7

Phone: +1 647-529-3556

Email: David.Kelvin@dal.ca

Published
2022-07-28
How to Cite
1.
Hewins B, Richardson C, Rubino S, Kelvin A, Toloue OstadgavahiA, Kelvin DJ (2022) Molecular mechanisms responsible for SARS-CoV-2 antibody waning and vaccine escape in Omicron sublineages BA.4 and BA.5. J Infect Dev Ctries 16:1122-1125. doi: 10.3855/jidc.17010
Section
Coronavirus Pandemic

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