John E. Bowen et al.: Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 neutralizing activity elicited by a comprehensive panel of human vaccines [Preprint], in: bioRxiv. The Preprint Server for Biology (March 16, 2022), online in: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.03.15.484542.
At the time of publication of the study, the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern comprises three sublineages designated BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3, with BA.2 steadily replacing the currently globally dominant BA.1. The authors show that the large number of BA.1 and BA.2 spike mutations severely dampen plasma neutralizing activity elicited by infection or seven clinical vaccines, with cross-neutralization of BA.2 being consistently more potent than that of BA.1, independent of the vaccine platform and number of doses. Although mRNA vaccines induced the greatest magnitude of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 plasma neutralizing activity, administration of a booster based on the Wuhan-Hu-1 spike sequence markedly increased neutralizing antibody titers and breadth against BA.1 and BA.2 across all vaccines evaluated. The authors’ data suggest that although BA.1 and BA.2 evade polyclonal neutralizing antibody responses, current vaccine boosting regimens may provide sufficient protection against Omicron-induced disease.