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1.
Microorganisms ; 10(7)2022 Jul 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938910

ABSTRACT

With the accumulation of mutations in SARS-CoV-2 and the continuous emergence of new variants, the importance of developing safer and effective vaccines has become more prominent in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Both traditional and genetically engineered vaccines have contributed to the prevention and control of the pandemic. However, in recent years, the trend of vaccination research has gradually transitioned from traditional to genetically engineered vaccines, with the development of viral vector vaccines attracting increasing attention. Viral vector vaccines have several unique advantages compared to other vaccine platforms. The spread of Omicron has also made the development of intranasal viral vector vaccines more urgent, as the infection site of Omicron is more prominent in the upper respiratory tract. Therefore, the present review focuses on the development of viral vector vaccines and their application during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2.
EBioMedicine ; 75: 103762, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587929

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccines in emergency use are efficacious against COVID-19, yet vaccine-induced prevention against nasal SARS-CoV-2 infection remains suboptimal. METHODS: Since mucosal immunity is critical for nasal prevention, we investigated the efficacy of an intramuscular PD1-based receptor-binding domain (RBD) DNA vaccine (PD1-RBD-DNA) and intranasal live attenuated influenza-based vaccines (LAIV-CA4-RBD and LAIV-HK68-RBD) against SARS-CoV-2. FINDINGS: Substantially higher systemic and mucosal immune responses, including bronchoalveolar lavage IgA/IgG and lung polyfunctional memory CD8 T cells, were induced by the heterologous PD1-RBD-DNA/LAIV-HK68-RBD as compared with other regimens. When vaccinated animals were challenged at the memory phase, prevention of robust SARS-CoV-2 infection in nasal turbinate was achieved primarily by the heterologous regimen besides consistent protection in lungs. The regimen-induced antibodies cross-neutralized variants of concerns. Furthermore, LAIV-CA4-RBD could boost the BioNTech vaccine for improved mucosal immunity. INTERPRETATION: Our results demonstrated that intranasal influenza-based boost vaccination induces mucosal and systemic immunity for effective SARS-CoV-2 prevention in both upper and lower respiratory systems. FUNDING: This study was supported by the Research Grants Council Collaborative Research Fund, General Research Fund and Health and Medical Research Fund in Hong Kong; Outbreak Response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations; Shenzhen Science and Technology Program and matching fund from Shenzhen Immuno Cure BioTech Limited; the Health@InnoHK, Innovation and Technology Commission of Hong Kong; National Program on Key Research Project of China; donations from the Friends of Hope Education Fund; the Theme-Based Research Scheme.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization, Secondary , Influenza Vaccines , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, DNA , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Dogs , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunity, Mucosal , Influenza Vaccines/genetics , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Attenuated/genetics , Vaccines, Attenuated/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vero Cells
3.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 1102, 2021 09 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428909

ABSTRACT

Emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been shown to rapidly replace original circulating strains in humans soon after they emerged. There is a lack of experimental evidence to explain how these natural occurring variants spread more efficiently than existing strains of SARS-CoV-2 in transmission. We found that the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) increased competitive fitness over earlier parental D614G lineages in in-vitro and in-vivo systems. Using hamster transmission model, we further demonstrated that the Alpha variant is able to replicate and shed more efficiently in the nasal cavity of hamsters than other variants with low dose and short duration of exposure. The capability to initiate effective infection with low inocula may be one of the key factors leading to the rapid transmission of emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , Cell Line/virology , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 2790, 2021 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387341

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is of zoonotic origin and contains a PRRA polybasic cleavage motif which is considered critical for efficient infection and transmission in humans. We previously reported on a panel of attenuated SARS-CoV-2 variants with deletions at the S1/S2 junction of the spike protein. Here, we characterize pathogenicity, immunogenicity, and protective ability of a further cell-adapted SARS-CoV-2 variant, Ca-DelMut, in in vitro and in vivo systems. Ca-DelMut replicates more efficiently than wild type or parental virus in Vero E6 cells, but causes no apparent disease in hamsters, despite replicating in respiratory tissues. Unlike wild type virus, Ca-DelMut causes no obvious pathological changes and does not induce elevation of proinflammatory cytokines, but still triggers a strong neutralizing antibody and T cell response in hamsters and mice. Ca-DelMut immunized hamsters challenged with wild type SARS-CoV-2 are fully protected, with little sign of virus replication in the upper or lower respiratory tract, demonstrating sterilizing immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Virus Replication/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Cytokines/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Vero Cells , Virulence/genetics , Virulence/immunology
5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(2): e437-e444, 2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315658

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contains the furin cleavage Proline-Arginine-Arginine-Alanine (PRRA) motif in the S1/S2 region, which enhances viral pathogenicity but is absent in closely related bat and pangolin coronaviruses. Whether bat-like coronaviral variants without PRRA (∆PRRA) can establish natural infections in humans is unknown. METHODS: Here, we developed a duplex digital polymerase chain reaction assay to examine ∆PRRA variants in Vero-E6-propagated isolates, human organoids, experimentally infected hamsters, and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. RESULTS: We found that SARS-CoV-2, as currently transmitting in humans, contained a quasispecies of wild-type, ∆PRRA variants and variants that have mutations upstream of the PRRA motif. Moreover, the ∆PRRA variants were readily detected despite being at a low intra-host frequency in transmitted founder viruses in hamsters and in COVID-19 patients, including in acute cases and a family cluster, with a prevalence rate of 52.9%. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that bat-like SARS-CoV-2ΔPRRA not only naturally exists but remains transmissible in COVID-19 patients, which has significant implications regarding the zoonotic origin and natural evolution of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chiroptera , Alanine , Animals , Arginine , Humans , Proline , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
6.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 837-842, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-72297

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 has led to the current global coronavirus pandemic and more than one million infections since December 2019. The exact origin of SARS-CoV-2 remains elusive, but the presence of a distinct motif in the S1/S2 junction region suggests the possible acquisition of cleavage site(s) in the spike protein that promoted cross-species transmission. Through plaque purification of Vero-E6 cultured SARS-CoV-2, we found a series of variants which contain 15-30-bp deletions (Del-mut) or point mutations respectively at the S1/S2 junction. Examination of the original clinical specimen from which the isolate was derived, and 26 additional SARS-CoV-2 positive clinical specimens, failed to detect these variants. Infection of hamsters shows that one of the variants (Del-mut-1) which carries deletion of 10 amino acids (30bp) does not cause the body weight loss or more severe pathological changes in the lungs that is associated with wild type virus infection. We suggest that the unique cleavage motif promoting SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans may be under strong selective pressure, given that replication in permissive Vero-E6 cells leads to the loss of this adaptive function. It would be important to screen the prevalence of these variants in asymptomatic infected cases. The potential of the Del-mut variants as an attenuated vaccine or laboratory tool should be evaluated.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Disease Models, Animal , Mesocricetus , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS Virus/pathogenicity , Sequence Deletion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Base Sequence , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Host Specificity , Humans , Lung/pathology , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS Virus/growth & development , SARS Virus/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vero Cells , Virulence
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