Cell Reports anounced its Best of 2020 list, highlighting the jounrnal's major and most impactful publications of the past year.
Amongst 12 publications, from axonal ribosomes to imaging of brain activity during human behavior, and from a Review article on microglia to new roles for p53 in cancer immunology, we can find Tomas Lv and Chris Mok's paper Cross-Reactive Antibody Response Between Sars-Cov-2 and Sars-Cov Infections.
The World Health Organization has declared the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, which is caused by a novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic. There is currently a lack of knowledge about the antibody response elicited from SARS-CoV-2 infection. One major immunological question concerns antigenic differences between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV. We address this question by analyzing plasma from patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-CoV and from infected or immunized mice. Our results show that, although cross-reactivity in antibody binding to the spike protein is common, cross-neutralization of the live viruses may be rare, indicating the presence of a non-neutralizing antibody response to conserved epitopes in the spike. Whether such low or non-neutralizing antibody response leads to antibody-dependent disease enhancement needs to be addressed in the future. Overall, this study not only addresses a fundamental question regarding antigenicity differences between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV but also has implications for immunogen design and vaccine development.