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The rapid evolution of SARS-CoV-2 is driven in part by a need to evade the antibody response in the face of high levels of immunity. Here, we isolate spike (S) binding monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from vaccinees who suffered vaccine break-through infections with Omicron sub lineages BA.4 or BA.5. Twenty eight potent antibodies are isolated and characterised functionally, and in some cases structurally. Since the emergence of BA.4/5, SARS-CoV-2 has continued to accrue mutations in the S protein, to understand this we characterize neutralization of a large panel of variants and demonstrate a steady attrition of neutralization by the panel of BA.4/5 mAbs culminating in total loss of function with recent XBB.1.5.70 variants containing the so-called 'FLip' mutations at positions 455 and 456. Interestingly, activity of some mAbs is regained on the recently reported variant BA.2.86.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

Publication Date





Humans, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Mutation, Postoperative Complications, SARS-CoV-2, Antibodies, Neutralizing, Antibodies, Viral