Effects of SARS-CoV-2 strain variation on virus neutralisation titres: therapeutic use of convalescent plasma.
Nguyen D., Xiao J., Simmonds P., Lamikanra A., Odon V., Ratcliff J., Townsend A., Roberts DJ., Harvala H.
We compared neutralising antibody titres of convalescent samples collected before and after the emergence of novel strains of SARS-CoV-2, against the wild-type virus (WT), Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) variants. Plasma collected in 2020 before emergence of variants showed reduced titres against the Alpha variants, and both sets of samples demonstrated significantly reduced titres against Beta. Comparison of microneutralisation titres to those obtained with pseudotype and HAT assays showed a good correlation of titres and effects of strain variation, supporting the use of these simpler assays for assessment of convalescent plasma potency against currently circulating and emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2.