The Effective Inhibitory Concentration of Interferon-β Correlates with Infectivity and Replication Fitness of SARS-CoV-2 Variants.

Publication date: Apr 01, 2024

India saw a spike in COVID-19 cases in early 2023, and this wave of infection was attributed to XBB sublineages of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. The impact of XBB wave was significantly shorter with low burden of severe cases or hospitalization as compared with previous SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Although a combination of old and new mutations in the spike region of XBB. 1.16 variant led to a drastic reduction in the ability of antibodies from prior immunity to neutralize this virus, additional nonspike mutations suggested a possible change in its ability to suppress innate immune responses. In this study, we tested the sensitivity of Delta, BA. 2.75, and XBB. 1.16 variants to interferon-β (IFN-β) treatment and found that XBB. 1.16 variant was most sensitive to IFN-β. We next tested the ability of serum antibodies from healthy individuals to neutralize XBB. 1.16. We showed that most of the individuals with hybrid immunity maintained a low but significant level of neutralizing antibodies to XBB. 1.16 variant. Therefore, our observations indicated that both hybrid immunity because of natural infection and enhanced sensitivity to IFNs may have contributed to the low impact of XBB. 1.16 infections in India.

Concepts Keywords
Antibodies antibodies
Covid interferon
Hospitalization interferon-stimulated genes
Inhibitory neutralization


Type Source Name
disease VO effective
disease IDO infectivity
disease IDO replication
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH infection

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