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1.
Frontiers in immunology ; 12, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1695160

ABSTRACT

The tuberculosis vaccine, Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), also affords protection against non-tuberculous diseases attributable to heterologous immune mechanisms such as trained innate immunity, activation of non-conventional T-cells, and cross-reactive adaptive immunity. Aerosol vaccine delivery can target immune responses toward the primary site of infection for a respiratory pathogen. Therefore, we hypothesised that aerosol delivery of BCG would enhance cross-protective action against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and be a deployable intervention against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Immune parameters were monitored in vaccinated and unvaccinated rhesus macaques for 28 days following aerosol BCG vaccination. High-dose SARS-CoV-2 challenge was applied by intranasal and intrabronchial instillation and animals culled 6–8 days later for assessment of viral, disease, and immunological parameters. Mycobacteria-specific cell-mediated immune responses were detected following aerosol BCG vaccination, but SARS-CoV-2-specific cellular- and antibody-mediated immunity was only measured following challenge. Early secretion of cytokine and chemokine markers associated with the innate cellular and adaptive antiviral immune response was detected following SARS-CoV-2 challenge in vaccinated animals, at concentrations that exceeded titres measured in unvaccinated macaques. Classical CD14+ monocytes and Vδ2 γδ T-cells quantified by whole-blood immunophenotyping increased rapidly in vaccinated animals following SARS-CoV-2 challenge, indicating a priming of innate immune cells and non-conventional T-cell populations. However, viral RNA quantified in nasal and pharyngeal swabs, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and tissue samples collected at necropsy was equivalent in vaccinated and unvaccinated animals, and in-life CT imaging and histopathology scoring applied to pulmonary tissue sections indicated that the disease induced by SARS-CoV-2 challenge was comparable between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. Hence, aerosol BCG vaccination did not induce, or enhance the induction of, SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive adaptive cellular or humoral immunity, although an influence of BCG vaccination on the subsequent immune response to SARS-CoV-2 challenge was apparent in immune signatures indicative of trained innate immune mechanisms and primed unconventional T-cell populations. Nevertheless, aerosol BCG vaccination did not enhance the initial clearance of virus, nor reduce the occurrence of early disease pathology after high dose SARS-CoV-2 challenge. However, the heterologous immune mechanisms primed by BCG vaccination could contribute to the moderation of COVID-19 disease severity in more susceptible species following natural infection.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311378

ABSTRACT

Safe and effective vaccines will provide essential medical countermeasures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we evaluate the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of the intradermal delivery of INO-4800, a synthetic DNA vaccine candidate encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in the rhesus macaque model. Single and 2 dose vaccination regimens were evaluated. Vaccination induces both binding and neutralizing antibodies, along with IFN-γ-producing T cells against SARS-CoV-2. Upon administration of a high viral dose (5 x 10 6 pfu) via the intranasal and intratracheal routes we observe significantly reduced virus load in the lung and throat, in the vaccinated animals compared to controls. 2 doses of INO-4800 is associated with more robust vaccine-induced immune responses and improved viral protection. Importantly, histopathological examination of lung tissue provides no indication of vaccine-enhanced disease following SARS-CoV-2 challenge in INO-4800 immunized animals. This vaccine candidate is currently under clinical evaluation as a 2 dose regimen.

3.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512699

ABSTRACT

The global pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to an international thrust to study pathogenesis and evaluate interventions. Experimental infection of hamsters and the resulting respiratory disease is one of the preferred animal models since clinical signs of disease and virus shedding are similar to more severe cases of human COVID-19. The main route of challenge has been direct inoculation of the virus via the intranasal route. To resemble the natural infection, we designed a bespoke natural transmission cage system to assess whether recipient animals housed in physically separate adjacent cages could become infected from a challenged donor animal in a central cage, with equal airflow across the two side cages. To optimise viral shedding in the donor animals, a low and moderate challenge dose were compared after direct intranasal challenge, but similar viral shedding responses were observed and no discernible difference in kinetics. The results from our natural transmission set-up demonstrate that most recipient hamsters are infected within the system developed, with variation in the kinetics and levels of disease between individual animals. Common clinical outputs used for the assessment in directly-challenged hamsters, such as weight loss, are less obvious in hamsters who become infected from naturally acquiring the infection. The results demonstrate the utility of a natural transmission model for further work on assessing the differences between virus strains and evaluating interventions using a challenge system which more closely resembles human infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Disease Models, Animal , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Female , Lung/pathology , Male , Nasal Cavity/pathology , Viral Load , Virus Shedding
4.
Sci Adv ; 7(37): eabg7996, 2021 Sep 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405212

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent requirement for safe and effective vaccines to prevent COVID-19. A concern for the development of new viral vaccines is the potential to induce vaccine-enhanced disease (VED). This was reported in several preclinical studies with both SARS-CoV-1 and MERS vaccines but has not been reported with SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. We have used ferrets and rhesus macaques challenged with SARS-CoV-2 to assess the potential for VED in animals vaccinated with formaldehyde-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 (FIV) formulated with Alhydrogel, compared to a negative control vaccine. We showed no evidence of enhanced disease in ferrets or rhesus macaques given FIV except for mild transient enhanced disease seen 7 days after infection in ferrets. This increased lung pathology was observed at day 7 but was resolved by day 15. We also demonstrate that formaldehyde treatment of SARS-CoV-2 reduces exposure of the spike receptor binding domain providing a mechanistic explanation for suboptimal immunity.

5.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 915, 2021 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327224

ABSTRACT

Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are urgently required, but early development of vaccines against SARS-CoV-1 resulted in enhanced disease after vaccination. Careful assessment of this phenomena is warranted for vaccine development against SARS CoV-2. Here we report detailed immune profiling after ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) and subsequent high dose challenge in two animal models of SARS-CoV-2 mediated disease. We demonstrate in rhesus macaques the lung pathology caused by SARS-CoV-2 mediated pneumonia is reduced by prior vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 which induced neutralising antibody responses after a single intramuscular administration. In a second animal model, ferrets, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 reduced both virus shedding and lung pathology. Antibody titre were boosted by a second dose. Data from these challenge models on the absence of enhanced disease and the detailed immune profiling, support the continued clinical evaluation of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Ferrets , Macaca mulatta
6.
Vaccine ; 39(34): 4885-4894, 2021 08 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284599

ABSTRACT

Safe and effective vaccines will provide essential medical countermeasures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we assessed the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of the intradermal delivery of INO-4800, a synthetic DNA vaccine candidate encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in the rhesus macaque model. Single and 2 dose vaccination regimens were evaluated. Vaccination induced both binding and neutralizing antibodies, along with IFN-γ-producing T cells against SARS-CoV-2. Upon administration of a high viral dose (5 × 106 pfu) via the intranasal and intratracheal routes we observed significantly reduced virus load in the lung and throat, in the vaccinated animals compared to controls. 2 doses of INO-4800 was associated with more robust vaccine-induced immune responses and improved viral protection. Importantly, histopathological examination of lung tissue provided no indication of vaccine-enhanced disease following SARS-CoV-2 challenge in INO-4800 immunized animals. This vaccine candidate is currently under clinical evaluation as a 2 dose regimen.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, DNA , Viral Vaccines , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
7.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1260, 2021 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101645

ABSTRACT

A novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has been identified as the causative agent of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Animal models, and in particular non-human primates, are essential to understand the pathogenesis of emerging diseases and to assess the safety and efficacy of novel vaccines and therapeutics. Here, we show that SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the upper and lower respiratory tract and causes pulmonary lesions in both rhesus and cynomolgus macaques. Immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 are also similar in both species and equivalent to those reported in milder infections and convalescent human patients. This finding is reiterated by our transcriptional analysis of respiratory samples revealing the global response to infection. We describe a new method for lung histopathology scoring that will provide a metric to enable clearer decision making for this key endpoint. In contrast to prior publications, in which rhesus are accepted to be the preferred study species, we provide convincing evidence that both macaque species authentically represent mild to moderate forms of COVID-19 observed in the majority of the human population and both species should be used to evaluate the safety and efficacy of interventions against SARS-CoV-2. Importantly, accessing cynomolgus macaques will greatly alleviate the pressures on current rhesus stocks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Immunity, Cellular/physiology , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Macaca fascicularis , Macaca mulatta , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
8.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 81, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007628

ABSTRACT

There is a vital need for authentic COVID-19 animal models to enable the pre-clinical evaluation of candidate vaccines and therapeutics. Here we report a dose titration study of SARS-CoV-2 in the ferret model. After a high (5 × 106 pfu) and medium (5 × 104 pfu) dose of virus is delivered, intranasally, viral RNA shedding in the upper respiratory tract (URT) is observed in 6/6 animals, however, only 1/6 ferrets show similar signs after low dose (5 × 102 pfu) challenge. Following sequential culls pathological signs of mild multifocal bronchopneumonia in approximately 5-15% of the lung is seen on day 3, in high and medium dosed groups. Ferrets re-challenged, after virus shedding ceased, are fully protected from acute lung pathology. The endpoints of URT viral RNA replication & distinct lung pathology are observed most consistently in the high dose group. This ferret model of SARS-CoV-2 infection presents a mild clinical disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Ferrets/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Female , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/immunology , Virus Shedding/drug effects , Virus Shedding/immunology
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