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1.
Nature ; 2022 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773987

ABSTRACT

The global emergence of many severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants jeopardizes the protective antiviral immunity induced following infection or vaccination. To address the public health threat caused by the increasing SARS-CoV-2 genomic diversity, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) established the SARS-CoV-2 Assessment of Viral Evolution (SAVE) program. This effort was designed to provide a real-time risk assessment of SARS-CoV-2 variants potentially impacting transmission, virulence, and resistance to convalescent and vaccine-induced immunity. The SAVE program serves as a critical data-generating component of the United States Government SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group to assess implications of SARS-CoV-2 variants on diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics and for communicating public health risk. Here we describe the coordinated approach used to identify and curate data about emerging variants, their impact on immunity, and effects on vaccine protection using animal models. We report the development of reagents, methodologies, models, and pivotal findings facilitated by this collaborative approach and identify future challenges. This program serves as a template for the response against rapidly evolving pandemic pathogens by monitoring viral evolution in the human population to identify variants that could erode the effectiveness of countermeasures.

2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(16): e2119680119, 2022 Apr 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768985

ABSTRACT

Significance Gaining insights into severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) high transmissibility and the role played by inflammatory mediators in viral proliferation are critical to investigating new therapeutic targets against COVID-19. Electron microscopy reveals important SARS-CoV-2 features, including the combination of large, rapidly released viral clusters and the massive shedding of epithelial cells packed with virions. Interleukin-13 (IL-13), a Th2 cytokine up-regulated in allergic asthma and associated with less severe COVID-19, protects against SARS-CoV-2 viral and cell shedding. Using gene expression analyses and biochemical assays, IL-13 is shown to affect viral entry, replication, and cell-to-cell transmission. Given the broad spectrum of COVID-19 clinical symptoms, it is important to elucidate intrinsic factors that modulate viral load and spreading mechanisms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interleukin-13 , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Respiratory System/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Cell ; 185(8): 1414-1430.e19, 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757193

ABSTRACT

Cytokines are powerful immune modulators that initiate signaling through receptor dimerization, but natural cytokines have structural limitations as therapeutics. We present a strategy to discover cytokine surrogate agonists by using modular ligands that exploit induced proximity and receptor dimer geometry as pharmacological metrics amenable to high-throughput screening. Using VHH and scFv to human interleukin-2/15, type-I interferon, and interleukin-10 receptors, we generated combinatorial matrices of single-chain bispecific ligands that exhibited diverse spectrums of functional activities, including potent inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 by surrogate interferons. Crystal structures of IL-2R:VHH complexes revealed that variation in receptor dimer geometries resulted in functionally diverse signaling outputs. This modular platform enabled engineering of surrogate ligands that compelled assembly of an IL-2R/IL-10R heterodimer, which does not naturally exist, that signaled through pSTAT5 on T and natural killer (NK) cells. This "cytokine med-chem" approach, rooted in principles of induced proximity, is generalizable for discovery of diversified agonists for many ligand-receptor systems.

4.
Sci Transl Med ; : eabm3410, 2022 Mar 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1752762

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic remains uncontrolled despite the rapid rollout of safe and effective severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines, underscoring the need to develop highly effective antivirals. In the setting of waning immunity from infection and vaccination, breakthrough infections are becoming increasingly common and treatment options remain limited. Additionally, the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, with their potential to escape neutralization by therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, emphasizes the need to develop second-generation oral antivirals targeting highly conserved viral proteins that can be rapidly deployed to outpatients. Here, we demonstrate the in vitro antiviral activity and in vivo therapeutic efficacy of GS-621763, an orally bioavailable prodrug of GS-441524, the parent nucleoside of remdesivir, which targets the highly conserved virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. GS-621763 exhibited antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in lung cell lines and two different human primary lung cell culture systems. GS-621763 was also potently antiviral against a genetically unrelated emerging coronavirus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV). The dose-proportional pharmacokinetic profile observed after oral administration of GS-621763 translated to dose-dependent antiviral activity in mice infected with SARS-CoV-2. Therapeutic GS-621763 administration reduced viral load and lung pathology; treatment also improved pulmonary function in COVID-19 mouse model. A direct comparison of GS-621763 with molnupiravir, an oral nucleoside analog antiviral which has recently received EUA approval, proved both drugs to be similarly efficacious in mice. These data support the exploration of GS-441524 oral prodrugs for the treatment of COVID-19.

5.
Science ; 375(6585): 1133-1139, 2022 Mar 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736002

ABSTRACT

The vaccine and drug discovery responses to COVID-19 have worked far better than could have been imagined. Yet by the end of 2021, more than 5 million people had died, and the pandemic continues to evolve and rage globally. This Review will describe how each of the vaccines, antibody therapies, and antiviral drugs that have been approved to date were built on decades of investment in technology and basic science. We will caution that the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus has so far proven a straightforward test of our pandemic preparedness, and we will recommend steps we should undertake now to prepare for, to minimize the effects of, and ideally to prevent future pandemics. Other Reviews in this series describe the interactions of SARS-CoV-2 with the immune system and those therapies that target the host response to infection.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Disease Progression , Drug Development , Drug Discovery , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vaccinology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Virus Diseases/drug therapy , Virus Diseases/prevention & control
7.
mBio ; : e0304421, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662302

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide since December 2019, causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although vaccines for this virus have been developed rapidly, repurposing drugs approved to treat other diseases remains an invaluable treatment strategy. Here, we evaluated the inhibitory effects of drugs on SARS-CoV-2 replication in a hamster infection model and in in vitro assays. Favipiravir significantly suppressed virus replication in hamster lungs. Remdesivir inhibited virus replication in vitro, but was not effective in the hamster model. However, GS-441524, a metabolite of remdesivir, effectively suppressed virus replication in hamsters. Co-administration of favipiravir and GS-441524 more efficiently reduced virus load in hamster lungs than did single administration of either drug for both the prophylactic and therapeutic regimens; prophylactic co-administration also efficiently inhibited lung inflammation in the infected animals. Furthermore, pretreatment of hamsters with favipiravir and GS-441524 effectively protected them from virus transmission via respiratory droplets upon exposure to infected hamsters. Repurposing and co-administration of antiviral drugs may help combat COVID-19. IMPORTANCE During a pandemic, repurposing drugs that are approved for other diseases is a quick and realistic treatment option. In this study, we found that co-administration of favipiravir and the remdesivir metabolite GS-441524 more effectively blocked SARS-CoV-2 replication in the lungs of Syrian hamsters than either favipiravir or GS-441524 alone as part of a prophylactic or therapeutic regimen. Prophylactic co-administration also reduced the severity of lung inflammation. Moreover, co-administration of these drugs to naive hamsters efficiently protected them from airborne transmission of the virus from infected animals. Since both drugs are nucleotide analogs that interfere with the RNA-dependent RNA polymerases of many RNA viruses, these findings may also help encourage co-administration of antivirals to combat future pandemics.

8.
Cell Rep ; 38(5): 110336, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661802

ABSTRACT

Understanding vaccine-mediated protection against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is critical to overcoming the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We investigate mRNA-vaccine-induced antibody responses against the reference strain, seven variants, and seasonal coronaviruses in 168 healthy individuals at three time points: before vaccination, after the first dose, and after the second dose. Following complete vaccination, both naive and previously infected individuals developed comparably robust SARS-CoV-2 spike antibodies and variable levels of cross-reactive antibodies to seasonal coronaviruses. However, the strength and frequency of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in naive individuals were lower than in previously infected individuals. After the first vaccine dose, one-third of previously infected individuals lacked neutralizing antibodies; this was improved to one-fifth after the second dose. In all individuals, neutralizing antibody responses against the Alpha and Delta variants were weaker than against the reference strain. Our findings support future tailored vaccination strategies against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants as mRNA-vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies are highly variable among individuals.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cross Reactions , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Coronavirus/immunology , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , /immunology
9.
Int Forum Allergy Rhinol ; 2022 Jan 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661517

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The nose is the portal for severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, suggesting the nose as a target for topical antiviral therapies. The purpose of this study was to assess both the in vivo and in vitro efficacy of a detergent-based virucidal agent, Johnson and Johnson's Baby Shampoo (J&J), in SARS-CoV-2-infected subjects. METHODS: Subjects were randomized into three treatment groups: (1) twice daily nasal irrigation with J&J in hypertonic saline, (2) hypertonic saline alone, and (3) no intervention. Complementary in vitro experiments were performed in cultured human nasal epithelia. The primary outcome measure in the clinical trial was change in SARS-CoV-2 viral load over 21 days. Secondary outcomes included symptom scores and change in daily temperature. Outcome measures for in vitro studies included change in viral titers. RESULTS: Seventy-two subjects completed the clinical study (n = 24 per group). Despite demonstrated safety and robust efficacy in in vitro virucidal assays, J&J irrigations had no impact on viral titers or symptom scores in treated subjects relative to controls. Similar findings were observed administering J&J to infected cultured human airway epithelia using protocols mimicking the clinical trial regimen. Additional studies of cultured human nasal epithelia demonstrated that lack of efficacy reflected pharmacokinetic failure, with the most virucidal J&J detergent components rapidly absorbed from nasal surfaces. CONCLUSION: In this randomized clinical trial of subjects with SARS-CoV-2 infection, a topical detergent-based virucidal agent had no effect on viral load or symptom scores. Complementary in vitro studies confirmed a lack of efficacy, reflective of pharmacokinetic failure and rapid absorption from nasal surfaces.

10.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(6)2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650946

ABSTRACT

The development of small-molecules targeting different components of SARS-CoV-2 is a key strategy to complement antibody-based treatments and vaccination campaigns in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we show that two thiol-based chemical probes that act as reducing agents, P2119 and P2165, inhibit infection by human coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and decrease the binding of spike glycoprotein to its receptor, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Proteomics and reactive cysteine profiling link the antiviral activity to the reduction of key disulfides, specifically by disruption of the Cys379-Cys432 and Cys391-Cys525 pairs distal to the receptor binding motif in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike glycoprotein. Computational analyses provide insight into conformation changes that occur when these disulfides break or form, consistent with an allosteric role, and indicate that P2119/P2165 target a conserved hydrophobic binding pocket in the RBD with the benzyl thiol-reducing moiety pointed directly toward Cys432. These collective findings establish the vulnerability of human coronaviruses to thiol-based chemical probes and lay the groundwork for developing compounds of this class, as a strategy to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 infection by shifting the spike glycoprotein redox scaffold.


Subject(s)
Amino Alcohols/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Phenyl Ethers/pharmacology , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Sulfhydryl Compounds/pharmacology , Allosteric Regulation , Amino Alcohols/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Disulfides/antagonists & inhibitors , Disulfides/chemistry , Disulfides/metabolism , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nasal Mucosa/drug effects , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Oxidation-Reduction , Phenyl Ethers/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Receptors, Virus/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Sulfhydryl Compounds/chemistry
11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Nov 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621585

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infectious virus isolation in outpatients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been associated with viral RNA levels and symptom duration, little is known about the host, disease, and viral determinants of infectious virus detection. METHODS: COVID-19 adult outpatients were enrolled within 7 days of symptom onset. Clinical symptoms were recorded via patient diary. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected to quantitate SARS-CoV-2 RNA by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and for infectious virus isolation in Vero E6-cells. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were measured in serum using a validated ELISA assay. RESULTS: Among 204 participants with mild-to-moderate symptomatic COVID-19, the median nasopharyngeal viral RNA was 6.5 (interquartile range [IQR] 4.7-7.6 log10 copies/mL), and 26% had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (immunoglobulin (Ig)A, IgM, IgG, and/or total Ig) at baseline. Infectious virus was recovered in 7% of participants with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies compared to 58% of participants without antibodies (prevalence ratio [PR] = 0.12, 95% confidence interval [CI]: .04, .36; P = .00016). Infectious virus isolation was also associated with higher levels of viral RNA (mean RNA difference +2.6 log10, 95% CI: 2.2, 3.0; P < .0001) and fewer days since symptom onset (PR = 0.79, 95% CI: .71, .88 per day; P < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: The presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies is strongly associated with clearance of infectious virus. Seropositivity and viral RNA levels are likely more reliable markers of infectious virus clearance than subjective measure of COVID-19 symptom duration. Virus-targeted treatment and prevention strategies should be administered as early as possible and ideally before seroconversion. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: NCT04405570.

12.
Nature ; 601(7893): 410-414, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521758

ABSTRACT

The CVnCoV (CureVac) mRNA vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was recently evaluated in a phase 2b/3 efficacy trial in humans1. CV2CoV is a second-generation mRNA vaccine containing non-modified nucleosides but with optimized non-coding regions and enhanced antigen expression. Here we report the results of a head-to-head comparison of the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of CVnCoV and CV2CoV in non-human primates. We immunized 18 cynomolgus macaques with two doses of 12 µg lipid nanoparticle-formulated CVnCoV or CV2CoV or with sham (n = 6 per group). Compared with CVnCoV, CV2CoV induced substantially higher titres of binding and neutralizing antibodies, memory B cell responses and T cell responses as well as more potent neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the Delta variant. Moreover, CV2CoV was found to be comparably immunogenic to the BNT162b2 (Pfizer) vaccine in macaques. Although CVnCoV provided partial protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, CV2CoV afforded more robust protection with markedly lower viral loads in the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Binding and neutralizing antibody titres were correlated with protective efficacy. These data demonstrate that optimization of non-coding regions can greatly improve the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a non-modified mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in non-human primates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Nucleosides/chemistry , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , /immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/standards , Female , Macaca fascicularis/immunology , Male , Nucleosides/genetics , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/standards , Viral Load , /standards
13.
J Infect Dis ; 224(3): 415-419, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526165

ABSTRACT

Mutagenic ribonucleosides can act as broad-based antiviral agents. They are metabolized to the active ribonucleoside triphosphate form and concentrate in genomes of RNA viruses during viral replication. ß-d-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC, initial metabolite of molnupiravir) is >100-fold more active than ribavirin or favipiravir against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), with antiviral activity correlated to the level of mutagenesis in virion RNA. However, NHC also displays host mutational activity in an animal cell culture assay, consistent with RNA and DNA precursors sharing a common intermediate of a ribonucleoside diphosphate. These results indicate highly active mutagenic ribonucleosides may hold risk for the host.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Mutagens/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , CHO Cells/drug effects , Cells, Cultured , Cricetulus , Cytidine/adverse effects , Cytidine/pharmacology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Mutagenesis/drug effects , Mutagens/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects
15.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 299, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511749

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To reduce the coronavirus disease burden in England, along with many other countries, the government implemented a package of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that have also impacted other transmissible infectious diseases such as norovirus. It is unclear what future norovirus disease incidence is likely to look like upon lifting these restrictions. METHODS: Here we use a mathematical model of norovirus fitted to community incidence data in England to project forward expected incidence based on contact surveys that have been collected throughout 2020-2021. RESULTS: We report that susceptibility to norovirus infection has likely increased between March 2020 and mid-2021. Depending upon assumptions of future contact patterns incidence of norovirus that is similar to pre-pandemic levels or an increase beyond what has been previously reported is likely to occur once restrictions are lifted. Should adult contact patterns return to 80% of pre-pandemic levels, the incidence of norovirus will be similar to previous years. If contact patterns return to pre-pandemic levels, there is a potential for the expected annual incidence to be up to 2-fold larger than in a typical year. The age-specific incidence is similar across all ages. CONCLUSIONS: Continued national surveillance for endemic diseases such as norovirus will be essential after NPIs are lifted to allow healthcare services to adequately prepare for a potential increase in cases and hospital pressures beyond what is typically experienced.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Norovirus , England/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Theoretical , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Cell Rep ; 37(5): 109929, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466097

ABSTRACT

Current coronavirus (CoV) vaccines primarily target immunodominant epitopes in the S1 subunit, which are poorly conserved and susceptible to escape mutations, thus threatening vaccine efficacy. Here, we use structure-guided protein engineering to remove the S1 subunit from the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV spike (S) glycoprotein and develop stabilized stem (SS) antigens. Vaccination with MERS SS elicits cross-reactive ß-CoV antibody responses and protects mice against lethal MERS-CoV challenge. High-throughput screening of antibody-secreting cells from MERS SS-immunized mice led to the discovery of a panel of cross-reactive monoclonal antibodies. Among them, antibody IgG22 binds with high affinity to both MERS-CoV and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 S proteins, and a combination of electron microscopy and crystal structures localizes the epitope to a conserved coiled-coil region in the S2 subunit. Passive transfer of IgG22 protects mice against both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Collectively, these results provide a proof of principle for cross-reactive CoV antibodies and inform the development of pan-CoV vaccines and therapeutic antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Reactions , Drug Design , Epitope Mapping , Female , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Vaccines/immunology
17.
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.

18.
mBio ; 12(4): e0157221, 2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349194

ABSTRACT

Tissue- and cell-specific expression patterns are highly variable within and across individuals, leading to altered host responses after acute virus infection. Unraveling key tissue-specific response patterns provides novel opportunities for defining fundamental mechanisms of virus-host interaction in disease and the identification of critical tissue-specific networks for disease intervention in the lung. Currently, there are no approved therapeutics for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) patients, and little is understood about how lung cell types contribute to disease outcomes. MERS-CoV replicates equivalently in primary human lung microvascular endothelial cells (MVE) and fibroblasts (FB) and to equivalent peak titers but with slower replication kinetics in human airway epithelial cell cultures (HAE). However, only infected MVE demonstrate observable virus-induced cytopathic effect. To explore mechanisms leading to reduced MVE viability, donor-matched human lung MVE, HAE, and FB were infected, and their transcriptomes, proteomes, and lipidomes were monitored over time. Validated functional enrichment analysis demonstrated that MERS-CoV-infected MVE were dying via an unfolded protein response (UPR)-mediated apoptosis. Pharmacologic manipulation of the UPR in MERS-CoV-infected primary lung cells reduced viral titers and in male mice improved respiratory function with accompanying reductions in weight loss, pathological signatures of acute lung injury, and times to recovery. Systems biology analysis and validation studies of global kinetic transcript, protein, and lipid data sets confirmed that inhibition of host stress pathways that are differentially regulated following MERS-CoV infection of different tissue types can alleviate symptom progression to end-stage lung disease commonly seen following emerging coronavirus outbreaks. IMPORTANCE Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe atypical pneumonia in infected individuals, but the underlying mechanisms of pathogenesis remain unknown. While much has been learned from the few reported autopsy cases, an in-depth understanding of the cells targeted by MERS-CoV in the human lung and their relative contribution to disease outcomes is needed. The host response in MERS-CoV-infected primary human lung microvascular endothelial (MVE) cells and fibroblasts (FB) was evaluated over time by analyzing total RNA, proteins, and lipids to determine the cellular pathways modulated postinfection. Findings revealed that MERS-CoV-infected MVE cells die via apoptotic mechanisms downstream of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Interruption of enzymatic processes within the UPR in MERS-CoV-infected male mice reduced disease symptoms, virus-induced lung injury, and time to recovery. These data suggest that the UPR plays an important role in MERS-CoV infection and may represent a host target for therapeutic intervention.


Subject(s)
Acute Lung Injury/pathology , Apoptosis/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Unfolded Protein Response/physiology , Acute Lung Injury/virology , Animals , Cell Line , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , Female , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Fibroblasts/virology , Humans , Male , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology
19.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(10): e0052721, 2021 09 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430152

ABSTRACT

Determinants of protective immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection require the development of well-standardized, reproducible antibody assays. This need has led to the emergence of a variety of neutralization assays. Head-to-head evaluation of different SARS-CoV-2 neutralization platforms could facilitate comparisons across studies and laboratories. Five neutralization assays were compared using 40 plasma samples from convalescent individuals with mild to moderate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): four cell-based systems using either live recombinant SARS-CoV-2 or pseudotyped viral particles created with lentivirus (LV) or vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) packaging and one surrogate enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based test that measures inhibition of the spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) binding its receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (hACE2). Vero cells, Vero E6 cells, HEK293T cells expressing hACE2, and TZM-bl cells expressing hACE2 and transmembrane serine protease 2 were tested. All cell-based assays showed 50% neutralizing dilution (ND50) geometric mean titers (GMTs) that were highly correlated (Pearson r = 0.81 to 0.89) and ranged within 3.4-fold. The live virus assay and LV pseudovirus assays with HEK293T/hACE2 cells showed very similar mean titers, 141 and 178, respectively. ND50 titers positively correlated with plasma IgG targeting SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and RBD (r = 0.63 to 0.89), but moderately correlated with nucleoprotein IgG (r = 0.46 to 0.73). ND80 GMTs mirrored ND50 data and showed similar correlation between assays and with IgG concentrations. The VSV pseudovirus assay and LV pseudovirus assay with HEK293T/hACE2 cells in low- and high-throughput versions were calibrated against the WHO SARS-CoV-2 IgG standard. High concordance between the outcomes of cell-based assays with live and pseudotyped virions enables valid cross-study comparison using these platforms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells
20.
Nature ; 599(7885): 465-470, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428880

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies with neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2 have demonstrated clinical benefits in cases of mild-to-moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection, substantially reducing the risk for hospitalization and severe disease1-4. Treatment generally requires the administration of high doses of these monoclonal antibodies and has limited efficacy in preventing disease complications or mortality among hospitalized patients with COVID-195. Here we report the development and evaluation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies with optimized Fc domains that show superior potency for prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Using several animal disease models of COVID-196,7, we demonstrate that selective engagement of activating Fcγ receptors results in improved efficacy in both preventing and treating disease-induced weight loss and mortality, significantly reducing the dose required to confer full protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge and for treatment of pre-infected animals. Our results highlight the importance of Fcγ receptor pathways in driving antibody-mediated antiviral immunity and exclude the possibility of pathogenic or disease-enhancing effects of Fcγ receptor engagement of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies upon infection. These findings have important implications for the development of Fc-engineered monoclonal antibodies with optimal Fc-effector function and improved clinical efficacy against COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/immunology , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/chemistry , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/pharmacology , Immunoglobulin G/chemistry , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Mice , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Receptors, IgG/chemistry , Receptors, IgG/immunology , Treatment Outcome
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