December 21, 2022


Beatriz Álvarez-Rodríguez1, Javier Buceta1,*, Ron Geller1, 2, *


Despite their fundamental role in resolving viral infections, our understanding of how polyclonal neutralizing antibody responses target non-enveloped viruses remains limited. To define these responses, we obtained the full antigenic profile of multiple human and mouse polyclonal sera targeting the capsid of a prototypical picornavirus. Our results uncover significant variation in the breadth and strength of neutralization sites targeted by individual human polyclonal responses, which contrasted with homogenous responses observed in experimentally infected mice. We further use these comprehensive antigenic profiles to define key structural and evolutionary parameters that are predictive of escape, assess epitope dominance at the population level, and reveal a need for at least two mutations to achieve significant escape from multiple sera. Overall, our data provide the first comprehensive analysis of how polyclonal sera target a non-enveloped viral capsid and help define both immune dominance and escape at the population level.