A recent preprint looks at the neutralizing antibody escape abilities for several new variants causing concern across the globe.
Continued evolution of SARS-CoV-2 has led to the emergence of several new Omicron subvariants, including BQ.1, BQ. 1.1, BA.4.6, BF.7 and BA.2.75.2.
Here we examine the neutralization resistance of these subvariants, as well as their ancestral BA.4/5, BA.2.75 and D614G variants, against sera from 3-dose vaccinated health care workers, hospitalized BA.1-wave patients, and BA.5-wave patients.
We found enhanced neutralization resistance in all new subvariants, especially the BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 subvariants driven by a key N460K mutation, and to a lesser extent, R346T and K444T mutations, as well as the BA.2.75.2 subvariant driven largely by its F486S mutation. The BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 subvariants also exhibited enhanced fusogenicity and S processing dictated by the N460K mutation.
Note: BF.7 was recently shown to be the fastest growing variant in Denmark with nearly 21% of sequences in week 42 of 2022.