New insights about human immune response to COVID-19 have implications for vaccine design against new variants

May 07, 2021
Last Updated:
May 07, 2021
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Multiple new and emerging COVID-19 variants with higher transmission rates have thrown into question the continued efficacy of existing vaccines across these newer strains. Previous research has focused on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) given its importance in attaching to and infecting human cells. This study, however, found that 84% of circulating antibodies from recovering COVID-19 patients were in fact targeting areas outside the RBD, and some were targeting parts of the virus that are not easily mutable. Next-generation vaccine design could focus on amplifying these antibodies. One limitation is that the study was based on blood plasma samples from four patients; a larger sample size is needed to validate this observation.

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