Daichi Yamasoba u. a.: Sensitivity of novel SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants, BA.2.11, BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 to therapeutic monoclonal antibodies [Preprint], in: bioRxiv. The Preprint Server for Biology (May 3, 2022), online in: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.05.03.490409.
In May 2022, Omicron BA.2 variant was the most dominant variant in the world. Thereafter, Omicron subvariants have emerged and some of them began outcompeting BA.2 in multiple countries. For instance, Omicron BA.2.11, BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/5 subvariants are becoming dominant in France, the USA and South Africa, respectively. In this study, the authors evaluated the sensitivity of these new Omicron subvariants (BA.2.11, BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/5) to eight therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (bamlanivimab, bebtelovimab, casirivimab, cilgavimab, etesevimab, imdevimab, sotrovimab and tixagevimab). Notably, the authors showed that although cilgavimab is antiviral against BA.2, BA.4/5 exhibits higher resistance to this antibody compared to BA.2. Since mutations are accumulated in the spike proteins of newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, the authors suggest the importance of rapid evaluation of the efficiency of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies against novel SARS-CoV-2 variants.