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1.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(7): 100693, 2022 Jul 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1946857

ABSTRACT

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has claimed more than 5 million lives. Emerging variants of concern (VOCs) continually challenge viral control. Directing vaccine-induced humoral and cell-mediated responses to mucosal surfaces may enhance vaccine efficacy. Here we investigate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of optimized synthetic DNA plasmids encoding wild-type severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein (pS) co-formulated with the plasmid-encoded mucosal chemokine cutaneous T cell-attracting chemokine (pCTACK; CCL27). pCTACK-co-immunized animals exhibit increased spike-specific antibodies at the mucosal surface and increased frequencies of interferon gamma (IFNγ)+ CD8+ T cells in the respiratory mucosa. pCTACK co-immunization confers 100% protection from heterologous Delta VOC challenge. This study shows that mucosal chemokine adjuvants can direct vaccine-induced responses to specific immunological sites and have significant effects on heterologous challenge. Further study of this unique chemokine-adjuvanted vaccine approach in the context of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is likely important.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Chemokines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Vaccines/genetics
2.
J Immunol ; 209(1): 118-127, 2022 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911834

ABSTRACT

Although severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines have demonstrated strong immunogenicity and protection against severe disease, concerns about the duration and breadth of these responses remain. In this study, we show that codelivery of plasmid-encoded adenosine deaminase-1 (pADA) with SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein DNA enhances immune memory and durability in vivo. Coimmunized mice displayed increased spike-specific IgG of higher affinity and neutralizing capacity as compared with plasmid-encoded spike-only-immunized animals. Importantly, pADA significantly improved the longevity of these enhanced responses in vivo. This coincided with durable increases in frequencies of plasmablasts, receptor-binding domain-specific memory B cells, and SARS-CoV-2-specific T follicular helper cells. Increased spike-specific T cell polyfunctionality was also observed. Notably, animals coimmunized with pADA had significantly reduced viral loads compared with their nonadjuvanted counterparts in a SARS-CoV-2 infection model. These data suggest that pADA enhances immune memory and durability and supports further translational studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Adenosine Deaminase/genetics , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Vaccine ; 40(21): 2960-2969, 2022 05 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773836

ABSTRACT

The enhanced transmissibility and immune evasion associated with emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants demands the development of next-generation vaccines capable of inducing superior protection amid a shifting pandemic landscape. Since a portion of the global population harbors some level of immunity from vaccines based on the original Wuhan-Hu-1 SARS-CoV-2 sequence or natural infection, an important question going forward is whether this immunity can be boosted by next-generation vaccines that target emerging variants while simultaneously maintaining long-term protection against existing strains. Here, we evaluated the immunogenicity of INO-4800, our synthetic DNA vaccine candidate for COVID-19 currently in clinical evaluation, and INO-4802, a next-generation DNA vaccine designed to broadly target emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, as booster vaccines in nonhuman primates. Rhesus macaques primed over one year prior with the first-generation INO-4800 vaccine were boosted with either INO-4800 or INO-4802 in homologous or heterologous prime-boost regimens. Both boosting schedules led to an expansion of T cells and antibody responses which were characterized by improved neutralizing and ACE2 blocking activity across wild-type SARS-CoV-2 as well as multiple variants of concern. These data illustrate the durability of immunity following vaccination with INO-4800 and additionally support the use of either INO-4800 or INO-4802 in prime-boost regimens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, DNA , Viral Vaccines , Animals , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
4.
Mol Ther ; 30(5): 1966-1978, 2022 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510414

ABSTRACT

To advance a novel concept of debulking virus in the oral cavity, the primary site of viral replication, virus-trapping proteins CTB-ACE2 were expressed in chloroplasts and clinical-grade plant material was developed to meet FDA requirements. Chewing gum (2 g) containing plant cells expressed CTB-ACE2 up to 17.2 mg ACE2/g dry weight (11.7% leaf protein), have physical characteristics and taste/flavor like conventional gums, and no protein was lost during gum compression. CTB-ACE2 gum efficiently (>95%) inhibited entry of lentivirus spike or VSV-spike pseudovirus into Vero/CHO cells when quantified by luciferase or red fluorescence. Incubation of CTB-ACE2 microparticles reduced SARS-CoV-2 virus count in COVID-19 swab/saliva samples by >95% when evaluated by microbubbles (femtomolar concentration) or qPCR, demonstrating both virus trapping and blocking of cellular entry. COVID-19 saliva samples showed low or undetectable ACE2 activity when compared with healthy individuals (2,582 versus 50,126 ΔRFU; 27 versus 225 enzyme units), confirming greater susceptibility of infected patients for viral entry. CTB-ACE2 activity was completely inhibited by pre-incubation with SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain, offering an explanation for reduced saliva ACE2 activity among COVID-19 patients. Chewing gum with virus-trapping proteins offers a general affordable strategy to protect patients from most oral virus re-infections through debulking or minimizing transmission to others.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Chewing Gum , Cricetinae , Cricetulus , Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Virus Internalization
5.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(10): 100420, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450242

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has had a dramatic global impact on public health and social and economic infrastructures. Here, we assess the immunogenicity and anamnestic protective efficacy in rhesus macaques of an intradermal (i.d.)-delivered SARS-CoV-2 spike DNA vaccine, INO-4800, currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Vaccination with INO-4800 induced T cell responses and induced spike antigen and RBD binding antibodies with ADCP and ADCD activity. Sera from the animals neutralized both the D614 and G614 SARS-CoV-2 pseudotype viruses. Several months after vaccination, animals were challenged with SARS-CoV-2 resulting in rapid recall of anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein T cell and neutralizing antibody responses. These responses were associated with lower viral loads in the lung. These studies support the immune impact of INO-4800 for inducing both humoral and cellular arms of the adaptive immune system, which are likely important for providing durable protection against COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Lung/virology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Female , Injections, Intradermal , Macaca mulatta , Male , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/therapeutic use , Viral Load
6.
iScience ; 24(7): 102699, 2021 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260763

ABSTRACT

More than 100 million people have been infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Common laboratory mice are not susceptible to wild-type SARS-CoV-2 infection, challenging the development and testing of effective interventions. Here, we describe the development and testing of a mouse model for SARS-CoV-2 infection based on transduction of the respiratory tract of laboratory mice with an adeno-associated virus vector (AAV6) expressing human ACE-2 (AAV6.2FF-hACE2). We validated this model using a previously described synthetic DNA vaccine plasmid, INO-4800 (pS). Intranasal instillation of AAV6.2FF-hACE2 resulted in robust hACE2 expression in the respiratory tract. pS induced robust cellular and humoral responses. Vaccinated animals were challenged with 105 TCID50 SARS-CoV-2 (hCoV-19/Canada/ON-VIDO-01/2020) and euthanized four days post-challenge to assess viral load. One immunization resulted in 50% protection and two immunizations were completely protective. Overall, the AAV6.2FF-hACE2 mouse transduction model represents an easily accessible, genetically diverse mouse model for wild-type SARS-CoV-2 infection and preclinical evaluation of potential interventions.

7.
J Clin Microbiol ; 58(11)2020 10 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733184

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a global pandemic of COVID-19, resulting in cases of mild to severe respiratory distress and significant mortality. The global outbreak of this novel coronavirus has now infected >20 million people worldwide, with >5 million cases in the United States (11 August 2020). The development of diagnostic and research tools to determine infection and vaccine efficacy is critically needed. We have developed multiple serologic assays using newly designed SARS-CoV-2 reagents for detecting the presence of receptor-binding antibodies in sera. The first assay is surface plasmon resonance (SPR) based and can quantitate both antibody binding to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and blocking to the Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in a single experiment. The second assay is enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based and can measure competition and blocking of the ACE2 receptor to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with antispike antibodies. The assay is highly versatile, and we demonstrate the broad utility of the assay by measuring antibody functionality of sera from small animals and nonhuman primates immunized with an experimental SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. In addition, we employ the assay to measure receptor blocking of sera from SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. The assay is shown to correlate with pseudovirus neutralization titers. This type of rapid, surrogate neutralization diagnostic can be employed widely to help study SARS-CoV-2 infection and assess the efficacy of vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Blocking/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Mice , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Primates , Rabbits , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Surface Plasmon Resonance , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/immunology
8.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 2601, 2020 05 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-326048

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus family member, SARS-CoV-2 has been identified as the causal agent for the pandemic viral pneumonia disease, COVID-19. At this time, no vaccine is available to control further dissemination of the disease. We have previously engineered a synthetic DNA vaccine targeting the MERS coronavirus Spike (S) protein, the major surface antigen of coronaviruses, which is currently in clinical study. Here we build on this prior experience to generate a synthetic DNA-based vaccine candidate targeting SARS-CoV-2 S protein. The engineered construct, INO-4800, results in robust expression of the S protein in vitro. Following immunization of mice and guinea pigs with INO-4800 we measure antigen-specific T cell responses, functional antibodies which neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 infection and block Spike protein binding to the ACE2 receptor, and biodistribution of SARS-CoV-2 targeting antibodies to the lungs. This preliminary dataset identifies INO-4800 as a potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate, supporting further translational study.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epitope Mapping , Guinea Pigs , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Lung/immunology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Models, Animal , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Vaccines/chemistry
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