Effect of sars-cov-2 mutations on the efficacy of antibody therapy and response to vaccines

Ahmed Yaqinuddin, Areez Shafqat, Junaid Kashir, Khaled Alkattan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


SARS-CoV-2 causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, which has led to significant morbidity and mortality around the world. Since its emergence, extensive prophylactic and therapeutic countermeasures have been employed to successfully prevent the spread of COVID-19. Extensive work has been undertaken on using monoclonal antibody therapies, mass vaccination programs, and antiviral drugs to prevent and treat COVID-19. However, since antiviral drugs could take years to become widely available, immunotherapy and vaccines currently appear to be the most feasible option. In December 2020, the first vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 was approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and, subsequently, many other vaccines were approved for use by different international regulators in different countries. Most monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and vaccines target the SARS-CoV-2 surface spike (S) protein. Recently, mutant (or variant) SARS-CoV-2 strains with increased infectivity and virulence that evade protective host antibodies present either due to infection, antibody therapy, or vaccine administration have emerged. In this manuscript, we discuss the different monoclonal antibody and vaccine therapies available against COVID-19 and how the efficacy of these therapies is affected by the emergence of variants of SARS-CoV-2. We also discuss strategies that might help society cope with variants that could neutralize the effects of immunotherapy and escape the protective immunity conferred by vaccines.

Original languageBritish English
Article number914
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Mutations
  • Resistance
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccines


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