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1.
J Infect Dis ; 2021 Dec 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566024

ABSTRACT

Co-circulation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses could pose unpredictable risks to health systems globally, with recent studies suggesting more severe disease outcomes in co-infected patients. The initial lack of a readily available COVID-19 vaccine has reinforced the importance of influenza vaccine programmes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) is an important tool in protecting against influenza, particularly in children. However, it is unknown whether LAIV administration influences the outcomes of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection or disease. To investigate this, quadrivalent LAIV was administered to ferrets 3 days pre- or post-SARS-CoV-2 infection. LAIV administration did not exacerbate SARS-CoV-2 disease course or lung pathology with either regimen. Additionally, LAIV administered prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 replication and shedding in the upper respiratory tract. This study demonstrated that LAIV administration in close proximity to SARS-CoV-2 infection does not exacerbate mild disease and can reduce SARS-CoV-2 shedding.

2.
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.

3.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5469, 2021 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434103

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 remains a global threat to human health particularly as escape mutants emerge. There is an unmet need for effective treatments against COVID-19 for which neutralizing single domain antibodies (nanobodies) have significant potential. Their small size and stability mean that nanobodies are compatible with respiratory administration. We report four nanobodies (C5, H3, C1, F2) engineered as homotrimers with pmolar affinity for the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Crystal structures show C5 and H3 overlap the ACE2 epitope, whilst C1 and F2 bind to a different epitope. Cryo Electron Microscopy shows C5 binding results in an all down arrangement of the Spike protein. C1, H3 and C5 all neutralize the Victoria strain, and the highly transmissible Alpha (B.1.1.7 first identified in Kent, UK) strain and C1 also neutralizes the Beta (B.1.35, first identified in South Africa). Administration of C5-trimer via the respiratory route showed potent therapeutic efficacy in the Syrian hamster model of COVID-19 and separately, effective prophylaxis. The molecule was similarly potent by intraperitoneal injection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Disease Models, Animal , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/metabolism , Female , Male , Mesocricetus , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Single-Domain Antibodies/administration & dosage , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
5.
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
6.
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
7.
Viruses ; 13(1)2021 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067778

ABSTRACT

Ferrets were experimentally inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related coronavirus 2) to assess infection dynamics and host response. During the resulting subclinical infection, viral RNA was monitored between 2 and 21 days post-inoculation (dpi), and reached a peak in the upper respiratory cavity between 4 and 6 dpi. Viral genomic sequence analysis in samples from three animals identified the Y453F nucleotide substitution relative to the inoculum. Viral RNA was also detected in environmental samples, specifically in swabs of ferret fur. Microscopy analysis revealed viral protein and RNA in upper respiratory tract tissues, notably in cells of the respiratory and olfactory mucosae of the nasal turbinates, including olfactory neuronal cells. Antibody responses to the spike and nucleoprotein were detected from 21 dpi, but virus-neutralizing activity was low. A second intranasal inoculation (re-exposure) of two ferrets after a 17-day interval did not produce re-initiation of viral RNA shedding, but did amplify the humoral response in one animal. Therefore, ferrets can be experimentally infected with SARS-CoV-2 to model human asymptomatic infection.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Ferrets , Genome, Viral/genetics , Mutation , Nasal Mucosa/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load , Virus Shedding
8.
Viruses ; 13(1)2021 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1031172

ABSTRACT

Ferrets were experimentally inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related coronavirus 2) to assess infection dynamics and host response. During the resulting subclinical infection, viral RNA was monitored between 2 and 21 days post-inoculation (dpi), and reached a peak in the upper respiratory cavity between 4 and 6 dpi. Viral genomic sequence analysis in samples from three animals identified the Y453F nucleotide substitution relative to the inoculum. Viral RNA was also detected in environmental samples, specifically in swabs of ferret fur. Microscopy analysis revealed viral protein and RNA in upper respiratory tract tissues, notably in cells of the respiratory and olfactory mucosae of the nasal turbinates, including olfactory neuronal cells. Antibody responses to the spike and nucleoprotein were detected from 21 dpi, but virus-neutralizing activity was low. A second intranasal inoculation (re-exposure) of two ferrets after a 17-day interval did not produce re-initiation of viral RNA shedding, but did amplify the humoral response in one animal. Therefore, ferrets can be experimentally infected with SARS-CoV-2 to model human asymptomatic infection.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Ferrets , Genome, Viral/genetics , Mutation , Nasal Mucosa/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load , Virus Shedding
9.
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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