INSERM-based Researchers’ Data Model Suggests ADE a Possibility with COVID-19 Delta Variant & Current Vaccines

A trio of researchers affiliated with the prominent national research center of France—INSERM as well as Aix Marseille University suggest the possible risks for antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) in association with mass COVID-19 vaccination schemes since the onset of the Delta variant. ADE represents a safety concern associated with vaccination strategies. Previous research investigated ADE with SARS-CoV-2 focusing on the wild type or original strain of SARS-CoV-2 called Wuhan/D614G. However, as the delta variant now represents the majority of strains the study team investigated the interaction of infection-enhancing antibodies directed against the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Employing molecular modeling methods, the INSERM-based team demonstrates that enhancing antibodies show a higher attraction for Delta variants over the original Wuhan/D614 N-terminal domain (NTD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The authors propose that based the observations from their modeling enhancing antibodies reinforce the binding of the spike trimer to the host cell membrane via the clamping of the NTD to lipid raft microdomains. Do these stabilizing mechanisms expedite...

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