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Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4831, 2022 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991599


Both T cells and B cells have been shown to be generated after infection with SARS-CoV-2 yet protocols or experimental models to study one or the other are less common. Here, we generate a chimeric protein (SpiN) that comprises the receptor binding domain (RBD) from Spike (S) and the nucleocapsid (N) antigens from SARS-CoV-2. Memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells specific for SpiN could be detected in the blood of both individuals vaccinated with Coronavac SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and COVID-19 convalescent donors. In mice, SpiN elicited a strong IFN-γ response by T cells and high levels of antibodies to the inactivated virus, but not detectable neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). Importantly, immunization of Syrian hamsters and the human Angiotensin Convertase Enzyme-2-transgenic (K18-ACE-2) mice with Poly ICLC-adjuvanted SpiN promotes robust resistance to the wild type SARS-CoV-2, as indicated by viral load, lung inflammation, clinical outcome and reduction of lethality. The protection induced by SpiN was ablated by depletion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and not transferred by antibodies from vaccinated mice. Finally, vaccination with SpiN also protects the K18-ACE-2 mice against infection with Delta and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 isolates. Hence, vaccine formulations that elicit effector T cells specific for the N and RBD proteins may be used to improve COVID-19 vaccines and potentially circumvent the immune escape by variants of concern.

Science ; 369(6508): 1255-1260, 2020 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-675945


Brazil currently has one of the fastest-growing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemics in the world. Because of limited available data, assessments of the impact of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on this virus spread remain challenging. Using a mobility-driven transmission model, we show that NPIs reduced the reproduction number from >3 to 1 to 1.6 in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Sequencing of 427 new genomes and analysis of a geographically representative genomic dataset identified >100 international virus introductions in Brazil. We estimate that most (76%) of the Brazilian strains fell in three clades that were introduced from Europe between 22 February and 11 March 2020. During the early epidemic phase, we found that SARS-CoV-2 spread mostly locally and within state borders. After this period, despite sharp decreases in air travel, we estimated multiple exportations from large urban centers that coincided with a 25% increase in average traveled distances in national flights. This study sheds new light on the epidemic transmission and evolutionary trajectories of SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Brazil and provides evidence that current interventions remain insufficient to keep virus transmission under control in this country.

Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Basic Reproduction Number , Bayes Theorem , Betacoronavirus/classification , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cities/epidemiology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Europe , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Humans , Models, Genetic , Models, Statistical , Pandemics/prevention & control , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spatio-Temporal Analysis , Travel , Urban Population