Nicole P. Hachmann u. a.: Neutralization Escape by the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variants BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 [Preprint], in: medRxiv.org (May 19, 2022), online in: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.05.16.22275151.
Multiple lineages of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) have emerged, and BA.1 and BA.2 have demonstrated substantial escape from neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). BA.2.12.1 has now become dominant in the United States, and BA.4 and BA.5 have become dominant in South Africa. The authors’ data show that BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 substantially escape NAbs induced by both vaccination and infection. Moreover, BA.4/BA.5 NAb titers, and to lesser extent BA.2.12.1 NAb titers, were lower than BA.1 and BA.2 NAb titers, suggesting that the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has continued to evolve with increasing neutralization escape. These findings have important public health implications and provide immunologic context for the current surges with BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 in populations with high rates of vaccination and BA.1/BA.2 infection.