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Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(8)2022 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1988069


The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a zoonotic pathogen that can transmit from dromedary camels to humans, causing severe pneumonia, with a 35% mortality rate. Vaccine candidates have been developed and tested in mice, camels, and humans. Previously, we developed a vaccine based on the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) viral vector, encoding a full-length spike protein of MERS-CoV, MVA-MERS. Here, we report the immunogenicity of high-dose MVA-MERS in prime-boost vaccinations in mice and camels. METHODS: Three groups of mice were immunised with MVA wild-type (MVA-wt) and MVA-MERS (MVA-wt/MVA-MERS), MVA-MERS/MVA-wt, or MVA-MERS/MVA-MERS. Camels were immunised with two doses of PBS, MVA-wt, or MVA-MERS. Antibody (Ab) responses were evaluated using ELISA and MERS pseudovirus neutralisation assays. RESULTS: Two high doses of MVA-MERS induced strong Ab responses in both mice and camels, including neutralising antibodies. Anti-MVA Ab responses did not affect the immune responses to the vaccine antigen (MERS-CoV spike). CONCLUSIONS: MVA-MERS vaccine, administered in a homologous prime-boost regimen, induced high levels of neutralising anti-MERS-CoV antibodies in mice and camels. This could be considered for further development and evaluation as a dromedary vaccine to reduce MERS-CoV transmission to humans.

J Infect Public Health ; 14(7): 832-838, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265761


BACKGROUND: Estimated seroprevalence of Coronavirus Infectious Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a critical evidence for a better evaluation of the virus spread and monitoring the progress of COVID-19 pandemic in a population. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence has been reported in specific regions, but an extensive nationwide study has not been reported. Here, we report a nationwide study to determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the population of KSA during the pandemic, using serum samples from healthy blood donors, non-COVID patients and healthcare workers (HCWs) in six different regions of the kingdom, with addition samples from COVID-19 patients. METHODS: A total of 11,703 serum samples were collected from different regions of the KSA including; 5395 samples from residual healthy blood donors (D); 5877 samples from non-COVID patients collected through residual sera at clinical biochemistry labs from non-COVID patients (P); and 400 samples from consented HCWs. To determine the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2, all serum samples, in addition to positive control sera from RT-PCR confirmed COVID-19 patients, were subjected to in-house ELISA with a sample pooling strategy, which was further validated by testing individual samples that make up some of the pools, with a statistical estimation method to report seroprevalence estimates. RESULTS: Overall (combining D and P groups) seroprevalence estimate was around 11% in Saudi Arabia; and was 5.1% (Riyadh), 1.5% (Jazan), 18.4% (Qassim), 20.8% (Hail), 14.7% (ER; Alahsa), and 18.8% in Makkah. Makkah samples were only D group and had a rate of 24.4% and 12.8% in the cities of Makkah and Jeddah, respectively. The seroprevalence in Saudi Arabia across the sampled areas would be 12 times the reported COVID-19 infection rate. Among HCWs, 7.5% (4.95-10.16 CI 95%) had reactive antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 without reporting any previously confirmed infection. This was higher in HCWs with hypertension. The study also presents the demographics and prevalence of co-morbidities in HCWs and subset of non-COVID-19 population. INTERPRETATION: Our study estimates the overall national serological prevalence of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia to be 11%, with an apparent disparity between regions. This indicates the prevalence of asymptomatic or mild unreported COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Pandemics , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies