Evidence of antigenic imprinting in sequential Sarbecovirus immunization

Huibin Lv, Ray T.Y. So, Meng Yuan, Hejun Liu, Chang-Chun D Lee, Garrick K. Yip, Wilson W. Ng, Ian A. Wilson, Joseph Sriyal Malik Peiris, Nicholas C. Wu, Chris Ka Pun Mok

Research output: Working paper


Antigenic imprinting, which describes the bias of antibody response due to previous immune history, can influence vaccine effectiveness and has been reported in different viruses. Give that COVID-19 vaccine development is currently a major focus of the world, there is a lack of understanding of how background immunity influence antibody response to SARS-CoV-2. This study provides evidence for antigenic imprinting in Sarbecovirus, which is the subgenus that SARS-CoV-2 belongs to. Specifically, we sequentially immunized mice with two antigenically distinct Sarbecovirus strains, namely SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. We found that the neutralizing antibodies triggered by the sequentially immunization are dominantly against the one that is used for priming. Given that the impact of the background immunity on COVID-19 is still unclear, our results will provide important insights into the pathogenesis of this disease as well as COVID-19 vaccination strategy.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Number of pages15
StateIn preparation - Oct 15 2020

Publication series

PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press


  • coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
  • Novel coronavirus
  • 2019-nCoV
  • Pandemic


Dive into the research topics of 'Evidence of antigenic imprinting in sequential Sarbecovirus immunization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this