Neutralizing Antibody Response to Sarbecovirus Is Delayed in Sequential Heterologous Immunization

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Antigenic imprinting, which describes the bias of the antibody response due to previous immune history, can influence vaccine effectiveness. While this phenomenon has been reported for viruses such as influenza, there is little understanding of how prior immune history affects the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2. This study provides evidence for antigenic imprinting through immunization with two Sarbecoviruses, the subgenus that includes SARS-CoV-2. Mice were immunized subsequently with two antigenically distinct Sarbecovirus strains, namely SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2. We found that sequential heterologous immunization induced cross-reactive binding antibodies for both viruses and delayed the emergence of neutralizing antibody responses against the booster strain. Our results provide fundamental knowledge about the immune response to Sarbecovirus and important insights into the development of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines and guiding therapeutic interventions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1382
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID-19
  • coronavirus
  • antigenic imprinting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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