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Cell ; 185(13): 2265-2278.e14, 2022 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1803705


Breakthrough infections by SARS-CoV-2 variants become the global challenge for pandemic control. Previously, we developed the protein subunit vaccine ZF2001 based on the dimeric receptor-binding domain (RBD) of prototype SARS-CoV-2. Here, we developed a chimeric RBD-dimer vaccine approach to adapt SARS-CoV-2 variants. A prototype-Beta chimeric RBD-dimer was first designed to adapt the resistant Beta variant. Compared with its homotypic forms, the chimeric vaccine elicited broader sera neutralization of variants and conferred better protection in mice. The protection of the chimeric vaccine was further verified in macaques. This approach was generalized to develop Delta-Omicron chimeric RBD-dimer to adapt the currently prevalent variants. Again, the chimeric vaccine elicited broader sera neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 variants and conferred better protection against challenge by either Delta or Omicron SARS-CoV-2 in mice. The chimeric approach is applicable for rapid updating of immunogens, and our data supported the use of variant-adapted multivalent vaccine against circulating and emerging variants.

COVID-19 , Vaccines , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
Int J Biol Sci ; 17(6): 1476-1485, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206431


The pandemic of COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is far from being controlled despite the great effort that have been taken throughout the world. Herd immunity through vaccination is our major expectation to rein the virus. However, the emergence of widespread genetic variants could potentially undermine the vaccines. The evidence that some variants could evade immune responses elicited by vaccines and previous infection is growing. In this review, we summarized the current understanding on five notable genetic variants, i.e., D614G, Cluster 5, VOC 202012/01, 501Y.V2 and P.1, and discussed the potential impact of these variants on the virus transmission, pathogenesis and vaccine efficacy. We also highlight that mutations in the N-terminal domain of spike protein should be considered when evaluating the antibody neutralization abilities. Among these genetic variants, a concern of genetic variant 501Y.V2 to escape the protection by vaccines was raised. We therefore call for new vaccines targeting this variant to be developed.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Mutation , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , Genes, Viral , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology