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Adv Sci (Weinh) ; 9(11): e2105378, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1680239


The SARS-CoV-2 Delta (B.1.617.2) strain is a variant of concern (VOC) that has become the dominant strain worldwide in 2021. Its transmission capacity is approximately twice that of the original strain, with a shorter incubation period and higher viral load during infection. Importantly, the breakthrough infections of the Delta variant have continued to emerge in the first-generation vaccine recipients. There is thus an urgent need to develop a novel vaccine with SARS-CoV-2 variants as the major target. Here, receptor binding domain (RBD)-conjugated nanoparticle vaccines targeting the Delta variant, as well as the early and Beta/Gamma strains, are developed. Under both a single-dose and a prime-boost strategy, these RBD-conjugated nanoparticle vaccines induce the abundant neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and significantly protect hACE2 mice from infection by the authentic SARS-CoV-2 Delta strain, as well as the early and Beta strains. Furthermore, the elicitation of the robust production of broader cross-protective NAbs against almost all the notable SARS-CoV-2 variants including the Omicron variant in rhesus macaques by the third re-boost with trivalent vaccines is found. These results suggest that RBD-based monovalent or multivalent nanoparticle vaccines provide a promising second-generation vaccine strategy for SARS-CoV-2 variants.

COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Animals , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , COVID-19/prevention & control , Macaca mulatta/metabolism , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Conjugate
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 420, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585885


COVID-19 is identified as a zoonotic disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, which also can cross-transmit to many animals but not mice. Genetic modifications of SARS-CoV-2 or mice enable the mice susceptible to viral infection. Although neither is the natural situation, they are currently utilized to establish mouse infection models. Here we report a direct contact transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 in wild-type mice. The SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) replicated efficiently and induced significant pathological changes in lungs and tracheas, accompanied by elevated proinflammatory cytokines in the lungs and sera. Mechanistically, the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) spike protein turned to a high binding affinity to mouse angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (mACE2), allowing the mice highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) infection. Our work suggests that SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) expands the host range and therefore increases its transmission route without adapted mutation. As the wild house mice live with human populations quite closely, this possible transmission route could be potentially risky. In addition, because SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) is one of the major epidemic strains and the mACE2 in laboratory-used mice is naturally expressed and regulated, the SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351)/mice could be a much convenient animal model system to study COVID-19 pathogenesis and evaluate antiviral inhibitors and vaccines.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Gene Expression , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virus Replication