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1.
Viruses ; 15(5)2023 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237578

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant human health and economic consequences. Due to the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to spread rapidly and to cause severe disease and mortality in certain population groups, vaccines are essential for controlling the pandemic in the future. Several licensed vaccines have shown improved protection against SARS-CoV-2 after extended-interval prime-boost immunizations in humans. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to compare the immunogenicity of our two Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) based COVID-19 candidate vaccines MVA-SARS-2-S and MVA-SARS-2-ST after short- and long-interval prime-boost immunization schedules in mice. We immunized BALB/c mice using 21-day (short-interval) or 56-day (long-interval) prime-boost vaccination protocols and analyzed spike (S)-specific CD8 T cell immunity and humoral immunity. The two schedules induced robust CD8 T cell responses with no significant differences in their magnitude. Furthermore, both candidate vaccines induced comparable levels of total S, and S2-specific IgG binding antibodies. However, MVA-SARS-2-ST consistently elicited higher amounts of S1-, S receptor binding domain (RBD), and SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in both vaccination protocols. Overall, we found very comparable immune responses following short- or long-interval immunization. Thus, our results suggest that the chosen time intervals may not be suitable to observe potential differences in antigen-specific immunity when testing different prime-boost intervals with our candidate vaccines in the mouse model. Despite this, our data clearly showed that MVA-SARS-2-ST induced superior humoral immune responses relative to MVA-SARS-2-S after both immunization schedules.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Animals , Mice , Pandemics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccinia virus , Vaccination/methods , Antibodies, Viral , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral
2.
J Clin Invest ; 2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089016

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein is synthesized as large precursor protein and must be activated by proteolytic cleavage into S1 and S2. A recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) expressing native, full-length S protein (MVA-SARS-2-S) is currently under investigation as candidate vaccine in phase I clinical studies. Initial results from immunogenicity monitoring revealed induction of S-specific antibodies binding to S2, but low-level antibody responses to the S1 domain. Follow-up investigations of native S antigen synthesis in MVA-SARS-2-S infected cells revealed limited levels of S1 protein on the cell surface. In contrast, we found superior S1 cell surface presentation upon infection with a recombinant MVA expressing a stabilized version of SARS-CoV-2 S protein with an inactivated S1/2 cleavage site and K986→P and V987→P mutations (MVA-SARS-2-ST). When comparing immunogenicity of MVA vector vaccines, mice vaccinated with MVA-SARS-2-ST mounted substantial levels of S broadly reactive antibodies that effectively neutralized different SARS-CoV-2 variants. Importantly, intramuscular MVA-SARS-2-ST immunization of hamsters and mice resulted in potent immune responses upon challenge infection and protected from disease and severe lung pathology. Our results suggest that MVA-SARS-2-ST represents an improved clinical candidate vaccine and that the presence of plasma membrane-bound S1 is highly beneficial to induce protective antibody levels.

3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(4)2022 Mar 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1810347

ABSTRACT

The urgent need for vaccines against Ebola virus (EBOV) was underscored by the large outbreak in West Africa (2014-2016). Since then, several promising vaccine candidates have been tested in pre-clinical and clinical studies. As a result, two vaccines were approved for human use in 2019/2020, of which one includes a heterologous adenovirus/Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) prime-boost regimen. Here, we tested new vaccine candidates based on the recombinant MVA vector, encoding the EBOV nucleoprotein (MVA-EBOV-NP) or glycoprotein (MVA-EBOV-GP) for their efficacy after homologous prime-boost immunization in mice. Our aim was to investigate the role of each antigen in terms of efficacy and correlates of protection. Sera of mice vaccinated with MVA-EBOV-GP were virus-neutralizing and MVA-EBOV-NP immunization readily elicited interferon-γ-producing NP-specific CD8+ T cells. While mock-vaccinated mice succumbed to EBOV infection, all vaccinated mice survived and showed drastically decreased viral loads in sera and organs. In addition, MVA-EBOV-NP vaccinated mice became susceptible to lethal EBOV infection after depletion of CD8+ T cells prior to challenge. This study highlights the potential of MVA-based vaccines to elicit humoral immune responses as well as a strong and protective CD8+ T cell response and contributes to understanding the possible underlying mechanisms.

4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(28)2021 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284760

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has emerged as the infectious agent causing the pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with dramatic consequences for global human health and economics. Previously, we reached clinical evaluation with our vector vaccine based on modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) against the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which causes an infection in humans similar to SARS and COVID-19. Here, we describe the construction and preclinical characterization of a recombinant MVA expressing full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein (MVA-SARS-2-S). Genetic stability and growth characteristics of MVA-SARS-2-S, plus its robust expression of S protein as antigen, make it a suitable candidate vaccine for industrial-scale production. Vaccinated mice produced S-specific CD8+ T cells and serum antibodies binding to S protein that neutralized SARS-CoV-2. Prime-boost vaccination with MVA-SARS-2-S protected mice sensitized with a human ACE2-expressing adenovirus from SARS-CoV-2 infection. MVA-SARS-2-S is currently being investigated in a phase I clinical trial as aspirant for developing a safe and efficacious vaccine against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines/standards , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination , Vaccinia virus
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