NGS-SA: Publications and pre-prints of our genomics surveillance work

SARS-CoV-2 501Y.V2 escapes neutralization by South African COVID-19 donor plasma

Authors: Wibmer CK, Ayres F, Hermanus T, Madzivhandila M, Kgagudi P, Oosthuysen B, Lambson BE, de Oliveira T, Vermeulen M, van der Berg K, Rossouw T, Boswell M, Ueckermann V, Meiring S, von Gottberg A, Cohen C, Morris L, Bhiman JN, Moore PL

Journal: Nature Medicine, 2021. DOI:


SARS-CoV-2 501Y.V2 (B.1.351), a novel lineage of coronavirus causing COVID-19, contains substitutions in two immunodominant domains of the spike protein. Here, we show that pseudovirus expressing 501Y.V2 spike protein completely escapes three classes of therapeutically relevant antibodies. This pseudovirus also exhibits substantial to complete escape from neutralization, but not binding, by convalescent plasma. These data highlight the prospect of reinfection with antigenically distinct variants and foreshadows reduced efficacy of spike-based vaccines.