Escape of SARS-CoV-2 501Y.V2 from neutralization by convalescent plasma

March 29, 2021

Sandile Cele, Inbal Gazy, Laurelle Jackson, Shi-Hsia Hwa, Houriiyah Tegally, Gila Lustig, Jennifer Giandhari, Sureshnee Pillay, Eduan Wilkinson, Yeshnee Naidoo, Farina Karim, Yashica Ganga, Khadija Khan, Mallory Bernstein, Alejandro B. Balazs, Bernadett I. Gosnell, Willem Hanekom, Mahomed-Yunus S. Moosa, NGS-SA, COMMIT-KZN Team, Richard J. Lessells, Tulio de Oliveira & Alex Sigal


In contrast to South Africa’s first wave of infections in July 2020, the second wave – peaking in January 2021 – primarily consisted of infections resulting from the 501Y.V2 (B.1.351) variant. Cele et al evaluated the efficacy of convalescent plasma from both waves on neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 virus from both waves. Plasma derived from the first wave performed poorly in neutralizing 501Y.V2 virus, indicating that the variant has escaped neutralization from convalescent plasma from those infected in the first wave. However, the plasma derived from those infected with the 501Y.V2 variant neutralized 501Y.V2 virus and – to a lesser extent – neutralized virus from the first wave, suggesting that a vaccine derived from 501Y.V2 variant may work against other variants.

Cele S, Gazy I, Jackson L, et al. Escape of SARS-CoV-2 501Y.V2 from neutralization by convalescent plasma. Nature 2021; : 1–9.