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PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333803


Global deployment of vaccines that can provide protection across several age groups is still urgently needed to end the COVID-19 pandemic especially for low- and middle-income countries. While vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 based on mRNA and adenoviral-vector technologies have been rapidly developed, additional practical and scalable SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are needed to meet global demand. In this context, protein subunit vaccines formulated with appropriate adjuvants represent a promising approach to address this urgent need. Receptor-binding domain (RBD) is a key target of neutralizing antibodies (Abs) but is poorly immunogenic. We therefore compared pattern recognition receptor (PRR) agonists, including those activating STING, TLR3, TLR4 and TLR9, alone or formulated with aluminum hydroxide (AH), and benchmarked them to AS01B and AS03-like emulsion-based adjuvants for their potential to enhance RBD immunogenicity in young and aged mice. We found that the AH and CpG adjuvant formulation (AH:CpG) demonstrated the highest enhancement of anti-RBD neutralizing Ab titers in both age groups (~80-fold over AH), and protected aged mice from the SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Notably, AH:CpG-adjuvanted RBD vaccine elicited neutralizing Abs against both wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and B.1.351 variant at serum concentrations comparable to those induced by the authorized mRNA BNT162b2 vaccine. AH:CpG induced similar cytokine and chemokine gene enrichment patterns in the draining lymph nodes of both young adult and aged mice and synergistically enhanced cytokine and chemokine production in human young adult and elderly mononuclear cells. These data support further development of AH:CpG-adjuvanted RBD as an affordable vaccine that may be effective across multiple age groups. ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Alum and CpG enhance SARS-CoV-2 RBD protective immunity, variant neutralization in aged mice and Th1-polarizing cytokine production by human elder leukocytes.

PUBMED; 2021.
Preprint in English | PUBMED | ID: ppcovidwho-293140


Memory B cell reserves can generate protective antibodies against repeated SARS-CoV-2 infections, but with an unknown reach from original infection to antigenically drifted variants. We charted memory B cell receptor-encoded monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from 19 COVID-19 convalescent subjects against SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and found 7 major mAb competition groups against epitopes recurrently targeted across individuals. Inclusion of published and newly determined structures of mAb-S complexes identified corresponding epitopic regions. Group assignment correlated with cross-CoV-reactivity breadth, neutralization potency, and convergent antibody signatures. mAbs that competed for binding the original S isolate bound differentially to S variants, suggesting the protective importance of otherwise-redundant recognition. The results furnish a global atlas of the S-specific memory B cell repertoire and illustrate properties conferring robustness against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.