Lien vers Pubmed [PMID] – 35483354
Immunity 2022 Jun; 55(6): 1096-1104.e4
The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant can escape neutralization by vaccine-elicited and convalescent antibodies. Memory B cells (MBCs) represent another layer of protection against SARS-CoV-2, as they persist after infection and vaccination and improve their affinity. Whether MBCs elicited by mRNA vaccines can recognize the Omicron variant remains unclear. We assessed the affinity and neutralization potency against the Omicron variant of several hundred naturally expressed MBC-derived monoclonal IgG antibodies from vaccinated COVID-19-recovered and -naive individuals. Compared with other variants of concern, Omicron evaded recognition by a larger proportion of MBC-derived antibodies, with only 30% retaining high affinity against the Omicron RBD, and the reduction in neutralization potency was even more pronounced. Nonetheless, neutralizing MBC clones could be found in all the analyzed individuals. Therefore, despite the strong immune escape potential of the Omicron variant, these results suggest that the MBC repertoire generated by mRNA vaccines still provides some protection against the Omicron variant in vaccinated individuals.