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1.
Nat Immunol ; 23(4): 543-555, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1738613

ABSTRACT

Despite the success of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine, the immunological mechanisms that underlie its efficacy are poorly understood. Here we analyzed the innate and adaptive responses to BNT162b2 in mice, and show that immunization stimulated potent antibody and antigen-specific T cell responses, as well as strikingly enhanced innate responses after secondary immunization, which was concurrent with enhanced serum interferon (IFN)-γ levels 1 d following secondary immunization. Notably, we found that natural killer cells and CD8+ T cells in the draining lymph nodes are the major producers of this circulating IFN-γ. Analysis of knockout mice revealed that induction of antibody and T cell responses to BNT162b2 was not dependent on signaling via Toll-like receptors 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 nor inflammasome activation, nor the necroptosis or pyroptosis cell death pathways. Rather, the CD8+ T cell response induced by BNT162b2 was dependent on type I interferon-dependent MDA5 signaling. These results provide insights into the molecular mechanisms by which the BNT162b2 vaccine stimulates immune responses.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Vaccines , Adaptive Immunity , Animals , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Mice , Vaccines, Synthetic
2.
Sci Transl Med ; 14(634): eabn7842, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1723505

ABSTRACT

Multiple severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants that have mutations associated with increased transmission and antibody escape have arisen over the course of the current pandemic. Although the current vaccines have largely been effective against past variants, the number of mutations found on the Omicron (B.1.1.529) spike protein appear to diminish the protection conferred by preexisting immunity. Using vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) pseudoparticles expressing the spike protein of several SARS-CoV-2 variants, we evaluated the magnitude and breadth of the neutralizing antibody response over time in individuals after infection and in mRNA-vaccinated individuals. We observed that boosting increases the magnitude of the antibody response to wild-type (D614), Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants; however, the Omicron variant was the most resistant to neutralization. We further observed that vaccinated healthy adults had robust and broad antibody responses, whereas responses may have been reduced in vaccinated pregnant women, underscoring the importance of learning how to maximize mRNA vaccine responses in pregnant populations. Findings from this study show substantial heterogeneity in the magnitude and breadth of responses after infection and mRNA vaccination and may support the addition of more conserved viral antigens to existing SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/prevention & control , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , /immunology
3.
Cell ; 185(6): 1025-1040.e14, 2022 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649487

ABSTRACT

During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, novel and traditional vaccine strategies have been deployed globally. We investigated whether antibodies stimulated by mRNA vaccination (BNT162b2), including third-dose boosting, differ from those generated by infection or adenoviral (ChAdOx1-S and Gam-COVID-Vac) or inactivated viral (BBIBP-CorV) vaccines. We analyzed human lymph nodes after infection or mRNA vaccination for correlates of serological differences. Antibody breadth against viral variants is lower after infection compared with all vaccines evaluated but improves over several months. Viral variant infection elicits variant-specific antibodies, but prior mRNA vaccination imprints serological responses toward Wuhan-Hu-1 rather than variant antigens. In contrast to disrupted germinal centers (GCs) in lymph nodes during infection, mRNA vaccination stimulates robust GCs containing vaccine mRNA and spike antigen up to 8 weeks postvaccination in some cases. SARS-CoV-2 antibody specificity, breadth, and maturation are affected by imprinting from exposure history and distinct histological and antigenic contexts in infection compared with vaccination.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 , Germinal Center , Antigens, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination
4.
Sci Transl Med ; 14(635): eabm7853, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630954

ABSTRACT

A damaging inflammatory response is implicated in the pathogenesis of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but mechanisms contributing to this response are unclear. In two prospective cohorts, early non-neutralizing, afucosylated immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies specific to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) were associated with progression from mild to more severe COVID-19. To study the biology of afucosylated IgG immune complexes, we developed an in vivo model that revealed that human IgG-Fc-gamma receptor (FcγR) interactions could regulate inflammation in the lung. Afucosylated IgG immune complexes isolated from patients with COVID-19 induced inflammatory cytokine production and robust infiltration of the lung by immune cells. In contrast to the antibody structures that were associated with disease progression, antibodies that were elicited by messenger RNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines were highly fucosylated and enriched in sialylation, both modifications that reduce the inflammatory potential of IgG. Vaccine-elicited IgG did not promote an inflammatory lung response. These results show that human IgG-FcγR interactions regulate inflammation in the lung and define distinct lung activities mediated by the IgG that are associated with protection against, or progression to, severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
6.
Cell Mol Immunol ; 19(2): 222-233, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607212

ABSTRACT

Although antivirals are important tools to control severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, effective vaccines are essential to control the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Plant-derived virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidates have previously demonstrated immunogenicity and efficacy against influenza. Here, we report the immunogenicity and protection induced in rhesus macaques by intramuscular injections of a VLP bearing a SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (CoVLP) vaccine candidate formulated with or without Adjuvant System 03 (AS03) or cytidine-phospho-guanosine (CpG) 1018. Although a single dose of the unadjuvanted CoVLP vaccine candidate stimulated humoral and cell-mediated immune responses, booster immunization (at 28 days after priming) and adjuvant administration significantly improved both responses, with higher immunogenicity and protection provided by the AS03-adjuvanted CoVLP. Fifteen micrograms of CoVLP adjuvanted with AS03 induced a polyfunctional interleukin-2 (IL-2)-driven response and IL-4 expression in CD4 T cells. Animals were challenged by multiple routes (i.e., intratracheal, intranasal, and ocular) with a total viral dose of 106 plaque-forming units of SARS-CoV-2. Lower viral replication in nasal swabs and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) as well as fewer SARS-CoV-2-infected cells and immune cell infiltrates in the lungs concomitant with reduced levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemotactic factors in the BALF were observed in animals immunized with the CoVLP adjuvanted with AS03. No clinical, pathologic, or virologic evidence of vaccine-associated enhanced disease was observed in vaccinated animals. The CoVLP adjuvanted with AS03 was therefore selected for vaccine development and clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Polysorbates/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Squalene/adverse effects , Tobacco/metabolism , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/adverse effects , alpha-Tocopherol/adverse effects , Adjuvants, Immunologic/administration & dosage , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Combinations , Drug Compounding/methods , Immunity, Humoral , Macaca mulatta , Male , Polysorbates/administration & dosage , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Squalene/administration & dosage , Treatment Outcome , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/administration & dosage , alpha-Tocopherol/administration & dosage
7.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(12): 1738-1743.e4, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574127

ABSTRACT

Different SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are approved in various countries, but few direct comparisons of the antibody responses they stimulate have been reported. We collected plasma specimens in July 2021 from 196 Mongolian participants fully vaccinated with one of four COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, and Sinopharm. Functional antibody testing with a panel of nine SARS-CoV-2 viral variant receptor binding domain (RBD) proteins revealed marked differences in vaccine responses, with low antibody levels and RBD-ACE2 blocking activity stimulated by the Sinopharm and Sputnik V vaccines in comparison to the AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines. The Alpha variant caused 97% of infections in Mongolia in June and early July 2021. Individuals who recover from SARS-CoV-2 infection after vaccination achieve high antibody titers in most cases. These data suggest that public health interventions such as vaccine boosting, potentially with more potent vaccine types, may be needed to control COVID-19 in Mongolia and worldwide.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mass Vaccination , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adult , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Gene Expression , Humans , Immune Sera/chemistry , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Male , Middle Aged , Mongolia/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
8.
Cell ; 184(21): 5432-5447.e16, 2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454060

ABSTRACT

Understanding vaccine-elicited protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants and other sarbecoviruses is key for guiding public health policies. We show that a clinical stage multivalent SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain nanoparticle (RBD-NP) vaccine protects mice from SARS-CoV-2 challenge after a single immunization, indicating a potential dose-sparing strategy. We benchmarked serum neutralizing activity elicited by RBD-NPs in non-human primates against a lead prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike (HexaPro) using a panel of circulating mutants. Polyclonal antibodies elicited by both vaccines are similarly resilient to many RBD residue substitutions tested, although mutations at and surrounding position 484 have negative consequences for neutralization. Mosaic and cocktail nanoparticle immunogens displaying multiple sarbecovirus RBDs elicit broad neutralizing activity in mice and protect mice against SARS-CoV challenge even in the absence of SARS-CoV RBD in the vaccine. This study provides proof of principle that multivalent sarbecovirus RBD-NPs induce heterotypic protection and motivates advancing such broadly protective sarbecovirus vaccines to the clinic.

9.
Nature ; 596(7872): 410-416, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305364

ABSTRACT

The emergency use authorization of two mRNA vaccines in less than a year from the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 represents a landmark in vaccinology1,2. Yet, how mRNA vaccines stimulate the immune system to elicit protective immune responses is unknown. Here we used a systems vaccinology approach to comprehensively profile the innate and adaptive immune responses of 56 healthy volunteers who were vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2). Vaccination resulted in the robust production of neutralizing antibodies against the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 (derived from 2019-nCOV/USA_WA1/2020) and, to a lesser extent, the B.1.351 strain, as well as significant increases in antigen-specific polyfunctional CD4 and CD8 T cells after the second dose. Booster vaccination stimulated a notably enhanced innate immune response as compared to primary vaccination, evidenced by (1) a greater frequency of CD14+CD16+ inflammatory monocytes; (2) a higher concentration of plasma IFNγ; and (3) a transcriptional signature of innate antiviral immunity. Consistent with these observations, our single-cell transcriptomics analysis demonstrated an approximately 100-fold increase in the frequency of a myeloid cell cluster enriched in interferon-response transcription factors and reduced in AP-1 transcription factors, after secondary immunization. Finally, we identified distinct innate pathways associated with CD8 T cell and neutralizing antibody responses, and show that a monocyte-related signature correlates with the neutralizing antibody response against the B.1.351 variant. Collectively, these data provide insights into the immune responses induced by mRNA vaccination and demonstrate its capacity to prime the innate immune system to mount a more potent response after booster immunization.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Innate , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccinology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Male , Middle Aged , Single-Cell Analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Transcription, Genetic , Transcriptome/genetics , Young Adult
10.
Thorax ; 76(10): 961, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259018
11.
Res Sq ; 2021 Apr 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237035

ABSTRACT

The emergency use authorization of two COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in less than a year since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, represents a landmark in vaccinology1,2. Yet, how mRNA vaccines stimulate the immune system to elicit protective immune responses is unknown. Here we used a systems biological approach to comprehensively profile the innate and adaptive immune responses in 56 healthy volunteers vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine. Vaccination resulted in robust production of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) against the parent strain and the variant of concern, B.1.351, but no induction of autoantibodies, and significant increases in antigen-specific polyfunctional CD4 and CD8 T cells after the second dose. The innate response induced within the first 2 days of booster vaccination was profoundly increased, relative to the response at corresponding times after priming. Thus, there was a striking increase in the: (i) frequency of CD14+CD16+ inflammatory monocytes; (ii) concentration of IFN- y in the plasma, which correlated with enhanced pSTAT3 and pSTAT1 levels in monocytes and T cells; and (iii) transcriptional signatures of innate responses characteristic of antiviral vaccine responses against pandemic influenza, HIV and Ebola, within 2 days following booster vaccination compared to primary vaccination. Consistent with these observations, single-cell transcriptomics analysis of 242,479 leukocytes demonstrated a ~100-fold increase in the frequency of a myeloid cluster, enriched in a signature of interferon-response transcription factors (TFs) and reduced in AP-1 TFs, one day after secondary immunization, at day 21. Finally, we delineated distinct molecular pathways of innate activation that correlate with CD8 T cell and nAb responses and identified an early monocyte-related signature that was associated with the breadth of the nAb response against the B1.351 variant strain. Collectively, these data provide insights into the immune responses induced by mRNA vaccines and demonstrate their capacity to stimulate an enhanced innate response following booster immunization.

12.
Nature ; 594(7862): 253-258, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192479

ABSTRACT

The development of a portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate the global population remains an urgent public health imperative1. Here we demonstrate the capacity of a subunit vaccine, comprising the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain displayed on an I53-50 protein nanoparticle scaffold (hereafter designated RBD-NP), to stimulate robust and durable neutralizing-antibody responses and protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques. We evaluated five adjuvants including Essai O/W 1849101, a squalene-in-water emulsion; AS03, an α-tocopherol-containing oil-in-water emulsion; AS37, a Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist adsorbed to alum; CpG1018-alum, a TLR9 agonist formulated in alum; and alum. RBD-NP immunization with AS03, CpG1018-alum, AS37 or alum induced substantial neutralizing-antibody and CD4 T cell responses, and conferred protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the pharynges, nares and bronchoalveolar lavage. The neutralizing-antibody response to live virus was maintained up to 180 days after vaccination with RBD-NP in AS03 (RBD-NP-AS03), and correlated with protection from infection. RBD-NP immunization cross-neutralized the B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant efficiently but showed a reduced response against the B.1.351 variant. RBD-NP-AS03 produced a 4.5-fold reduction in neutralization of B.1.351 whereas the group immunized with RBD-NP-AS37 produced a 16-fold reduction in neutralization of B.1.351, suggesting differences in the breadth of the neutralizing-antibody response induced by these adjuvants. Furthermore, RBD-NP-AS03 was as immunogenic as a prefusion-stabilized spike immunogen (HexaPro) with AS03 adjuvant. These data highlight the efficacy of the adjuvanted RBD-NP vaccine in promoting protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and have led to phase I/II clinical trials of this vaccine (NCT04742738 and NCT04750343).


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Alum Compounds , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Disease Models, Animal , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Male , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Squalene
13.
Science ; 369(6508): 1210-1220, 2020 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-704393

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) represents a global crisis, yet major knowledge gaps remain about human immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We analyzed immune responses in 76 COVID-19 patients and 69 healthy individuals from Hong Kong and Atlanta, Georgia, United States. In the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of COVID-19 patients, we observed reduced expression of human leukocyte antigen class DR (HLA-DR) and proinflammatory cytokines by myeloid cells as well as impaired mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and interferon-α (IFN-α) production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells. By contrast, we detected enhanced plasma levels of inflammatory mediators-including EN-RAGE, TNFSF14, and oncostatin M-which correlated with disease severity and increased bacterial products in plasma. Single-cell transcriptomics revealed a lack of type I IFNs, reduced HLA-DR in the myeloid cells of patients with severe COVID-19, and transient expression of IFN-stimulated genes. This was consistent with bulk PBMC transcriptomics and transient, low IFN-α levels in plasma during infection. These results reveal mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Cytokines/blood , DNA, Bacterial/blood , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Dendritic Cells/metabolism , Female , Flow Cytometry , HLA-DR Antigens/analysis , Humans , Immunity , Immunity, Innate , Immunoglobulins/blood , Immunoglobulins/immunology , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/blood , Male , Myeloid Cells/immunology , Myeloid Cells/metabolism , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , Single-Cell Analysis , Systems Biology , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases/metabolism , Transcription, Genetic , Transcriptome
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