Published time: 15 May 2020
Keywords: microbiology, bioscience, SARS-CoV-2, covid-19
Broadly protective vaccines against known and pre-emergent coronaviruses are urgently needed. Critical to their development is a deeper understanding of cross-neutralizing antibody responses induced by natural human coronavirus (HCoV) infections. Here, we mined the memory B cell repertoire of a convalescent SARS donor and identified 200 SARS-CoV-2 binding antibodies that target multiple conserved sites on the spike (S) protein. A large proportion of the antibodies display high levels of somatic hypermutation and cross-react with circulating HCoVs, suggesting recall of pre-existing memory B cells (MBCs) elicited by prior HCoV infections. Several antibodies potently cross-neutralize SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and the bat SARS-like virus WIV1 by blocking receptor attachment and inducing S1 shedding. These antibodies represent promising candidates for therapeutic intervention and reveal a new target for the rational design of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines.
Broad sarbecovirus neutralizing antibodies define a key site of vulnerability on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein