Neutralizing Antibodies Against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Variants Induced by Natural Infection or Vaccination: A Systematic Review and Pooled Analysis

Chen X, Chen Z, Azman AS, Sun R, Lu W, Zheng N, Zhou J, Wu Q, Deng X, Zhao Z, Chen X, Ge S, Yang J, Leung DT, Yu H

Recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants may pose a threat to immunity. A systematic landscape of neutralizing antibodies against emerging variants is needed. We systematically searched for studies that evaluated neutralizing antibody titers induced by previous infection or vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 variants and collected individual data. We identified 106 studies meeting the eligibility criteria. Lineage B.1.351 (beta), P.1 (gamma) and B.1.617.2 (delta) significantly escaped natural infection-mediated neutralization, with an average of 4.1-fold (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.6-4.7-fold), 1.8-fold (1.4-2.4-fold), and 3.2-fold (2.4-4.1-fold) reduction in live virus neutralization assay, while neutralizing titers against B.1.1.7 (alpha) decreased slightly (1.4-fold [95% CI: 1.2-1.6-fold]). Serum from vaccinees also led to significant reductions in neutralization of B.1.351 across different platforms, with an average of 7.1-fold (95% CI: 5.5-9.0-fold) for nonreplicating vector platform, 4.1-fold (3.7-4.4-fold) for messenger RNA platform, and 2.5-fold (1.7-2.9-fold) for protein subunit platform. Neutralizing antibody levels induced by messenger RNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 variants were similar to, or higher, than that derived from naturally infected individuals.