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SARS-CoV-2 omicron BA.2.87.1 exhibits higher susceptibility to serum neutralization than EG.5.1 and JN.1.

As SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread and mutate, tracking the viral evolutionary trajectory and understanding the functional consequences of its mutations remain crucial. Here, we characterized the antibody evasion, ACE2 receptor engagement, and viral infectivity of the highly mutated SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariant BA.2.87.1. Compared with other Omicron subvariants, including EG.5.1 and the current predominant JN.1, BA.2.87.1 exhibits less immune evasion, reduced viral receptor engagement, and comparable infectivity in Calu-3 lung cells. Intriguingly, two large deletions (Δ15-26 and Δ136-146) in the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the spike protein facilitate subtly increased antibody evasion but significantly diminish viral infectivity. Collectively, our data support the announcement by the USA CDC that the public health risk posed by BA.2.87.1 appears to be low.

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