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EBioMedicine ; 82: 104203, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1966508


BACKGROUND: To investigate a vaccine technology with potential to protect against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and reduce transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with a single vaccine dose, we developed a SARS-CoV-2 candidate vaccine using the live vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) chimeric virus approach previously used to develop a licensed Ebola virus vaccine. METHODS: We generated a replication-competent chimeric VSV-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate by replacing the VSV glycoprotein (G) gene with coding sequence for the SARS-CoV-2 Spike glycoprotein (S). Immunogenicity of the lead vaccine candidate (VSV∆G-SARS-CoV-2) was evaluated in cotton rats and golden Syrian hamsters, and protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection also was assessed in hamsters. FINDINGS: VSV∆G-SARS-CoV-2 delivered with a single intramuscular (IM) injection was immunogenic in cotton rats and hamsters and protected hamsters from weight loss following SARS-CoV-2 challenge. When mucosal vaccination was evaluated, cotton rats did not respond to the vaccine, whereas mucosal administration of VSV∆G-SARS-CoV-2 was found to be more immunogenic than IM injection in hamsters and induced immunity that significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 challenge virus loads in both lung and nasal tissues. INTERPRETATION: VSV∆G-SARS-CoV-2 delivered by IM injection or mucosal administration was immunogenic in golden Syrian hamsters, and both vaccination methods effectively protected the lung from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Hamsters vaccinated by mucosal application of VSV∆G-SARS-CoV-2 also developed immunity that controlled SARS-CoV-2 replication in nasal tissue. FUNDING: The study was funded by Merck Sharp & Dohme, Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA, and The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Inc. (IAVI), New York, USA. Parts of this research was supported by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the US Department of Defense.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Animals , Cricetinae , Humans , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2 , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Immunogenicity, Vaccine
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 17(5): 1248-1261, 2021 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-897094


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) causes lower respiratory tract infections that can be severe and sometimes fatal. The risk for severe RSV infection is highest in infants and older adults. A safe and effective RSV vaccine for older adults represents a serious unmet medical need due to higher morbidity and mortality in this age group. In this randomized, partially double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1 dose-escalation study, we evaluated the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of an investigational messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine encoding the RSV fusion protein (F) stabilized in the prefusion conformation. The study was conducted in healthy younger adults (ages ≥18 and ≤49 years) and healthy older adults (ages ≥60 and ≤79 years). Participants received mRNA-1777 (V171) or placebo as a single intramuscular dose. For each dose level, three sentinel participants were administered open-label mRNA-1777 (V171). Seventy-two younger adults were randomized and administered 25, 100, or 200 µg mRNA-1777 (V171) or placebo, and 107 older adults were randomized and administered 25, 100, 200 or 300 µg mRNA-1777 (V171) or placebo. Primary objectives were safety and tolerability and secondary objectives included humoral and cell-mediated immunogenicity. All dose levels of mRNA-1777 (V171) were generally well tolerated and no serious adverse events related to the vaccine were reported. Immunization with mRNA-1777 (V171) elicited a humoral immune response as measured by increases in RSV neutralizing antibody titers, serum antibody titers to RSV prefusion F protein, D25 competing antibody titers to RSV prefusion F protein, and cell-mediated immune responses to RSV-F peptides.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Middle Aged , RNA, Messenger , Viral Fusion Proteins
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(15)2021 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152940


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) research and antiviral discovery are hampered by the lack of a cell-based virus replication system that can be readily adopted without biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) restrictions. Here, the construction of a noninfectious SARS-CoV-2 reporter replicon and its application in deciphering viral replication mechanisms and evaluating SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors are presented. The replicon genome is replication competent but does not produce progeny virions. Its replication can be inhibited by RdRp mutations or by known SARS-CoV-2 antiviral compounds. Using this system, a high-throughput antiviral assay has also been developed. Significant differences in potencies of several SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors in different cell lines were observed, which highlight the challenges of discovering antivirals capable of inhibiting viral replication in vivo and the importance of testing compounds in multiple cell culture models. The generation of a SARS-CoV-2 replicon provides a powerful platform to expand the global research effort to combat COVID-19.

Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , Replicon/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Replicon/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects