SARS-CoV-2 evolution during treatment of chronic infection
“These data reveal strong selection on SARS-CoV-2 during convalescent plasma therapy associated with emergence of viral variants with evidence of reduced susceptibility to neutralising antibodies.”
“..following convalescent plasma therapy we observed large, dynamic virus population shifts, with the emergence of a dominant viral strain bearing D796H in S2 and ΔH69/ΔV70 in the S1 N-terminal domain NTD of the Spike protein.
As passively transferred serum antibodies diminished, viruses with the escape genotype diminished in frequency, before returning during a final, unsuccessful course of convalescent plasma. In vitro, the Spike escape double mutant bearing ΔH69/ΔV70 and D796H conferred modestly decreased sensitivity to convalescent plasma, whilst maintaining infectivity similar to wild type. D796H appeared to be the main contributor to decreased susceptibility but incurred an infectivity defect. The ΔH69/ΔV70 single mutant had two-fold higher infectivity compared to wild type, possibly compensating for the reduced infectivity of D796H.
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