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#35576972   2022/05/16 To Up

Characterization and antiviral susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron/BA.2.

The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants possessing numerous mutations has raised concerns of decreased effectiveness of current vaccines, therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, and antiviral drugs for COVID-19 against these variants. The original Omicron lineage, BA.1, prevailed in many countries, but more recently, BA.2 has become dominant in at least 68 countries. Here, we evaluated the replicative ability and pathogenicity of authentic infectious BA.2 isolates in immunocompetent and human ACE2 (hACE2)-expressing mice and hamsters. In contrast to recent data with chimeric, recombinant SARS-CoV-2 strains expressing the spike proteins of BA.1 and BA.2 on an ancestral WK-521 backbone, we observed similar infectivity and pathogenicity in mice and hamsters between BA.2 and BA.1, and less pathogenicity compared to early SARS-CoV-2 strains. We also observed a marked and significant reduction in the neutralizing activity of plasma from COVID-19 convalescent individuals and vaccine recipients against BA.2 compared to ancestral and Delta variant strains. In addition, we found that some therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (REGN10987/REGN10933, COV2-2196/COV2-2130, and S309) and antiviral drugs (molnupiravir, nirmatrelvir, and S-217622) can restrict viral infection in the respiratory organs of BA.2-infected hamsters. These findings suggest that the replication and pathogenicity of BA.2 is comparable to that of BA.1 in rodents and that several therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and antiviral compounds are effective against Omicron/BA.2 variants.
Ryuta Uraki, Maki Kiso, Shun Iida, Masaki Imai, Emi Takashita, Makoto Kuroda, Peter J Halfmann, Samantha Loeber, Tadashi Maemura, Seiya Yamayoshi, Seiichiro Fujisaki, Zhongde Wang, Mutsumi Ito, Michiko Ujie, Kiyoko Iwatsuki-Horimoto, Yuri Furusawa, Ryan Wright, Zhenlu Chong, Seiya Ozono, Atsuhiro Yasuhara, Hiroshi Ueki, Yuko Sakai-Tagawa, Rong Li, Yanan Liu, Deanna Larson, Michiko Koga, Takeya Tsutsumi, Eisuke Adachi, Makoto Saito, Shinya Yamamoto, Masao Hagihara, Keiko Mitamura, Tetsuro Sato, Masayuki Hojo, Shin-Ichiro Hattori, Kenji Maeda, Riccardo Valdez, , Moe Okuda, Jurika Murakami, Calvin Duong, Sucheta Godbole, Daniel C Douek, Ken Maeda, Shinji Watanabe, Aubree Gordon, Norio Ohmagari, Hiroshi Yotsuyanagi, Michael S Diamond, Hideki Hasegawa, Hiroaki Mitsuya, Tadaki Suzuki, Yoshihiro Kawaoka

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