Three New Scientific Highlights on SARS-CoV-2

Instruct Centres Involved in Three Cutting-Edge COVID-19 Discoveries


Three new ground-breaking studies into the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2, have been published in Cell, utilising Instruct Centre UK equipment and laboratories. 


The study by Dejnirattisai et al (2021) identified the binding sites of human antibodies onto the SARS-CoV-2 virus structure, and identified which antibodies are most potent at neutralising the virus itself. 


The study by Supasa et al (2021) worked with the results from Dejnirattisai et al., finding that the UK COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.7 is less affected by the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, but these still result in neutralisation at higher concentrations. 


Zhou et al (2021) reported a substantial drop in efficacy of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines in protecting against the South African variant, B.1.315. It also found that convalescent sera of those infected with ancestral strains of SARS-CoV-2 was significantly affected by the B.1.315 viral strain, reporting a 13.3-fold loss of efficacy. 


Both studies have taken huge steps in understanding how best to combat SARS-CoV-2, both in terms of where antibodies bind to it in order to neutralise its effects, but also how new variants affect our ongoing planning against the virus. 


All three projects utilised Instruct UK Centres, Diamond Light Source and STRUBI, using “Beamline” technology and cryo-EM respectively. These projects expand the ever-increasing catalogue of studies into COVID-19 with the support of Instruct-ERIC and partners.


Take a look through our full range of scientific highlights, our portfolio of the latest research carried out at Instruct Centres throughout Europe.