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biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.02.03.429211

ABSTRACT

Non-integrative, non-cytopathic and non-inflammatory lentivectors are particularly suitable for mucosal vaccination and recently emerge as a promising strategy to elicit sterilizing prophylaxis against SARS-CoV-2 in preclinical animal models. Here, we demonstrate that a single intranasal administration of a lentivector encoding a prefusion form of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein induces full protection of respiratory tracts and totally avoids pulmonary inflammation in the susceptible hamster model. More importantly, we generated a new transgenic mouse strain, expressing the human Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2, with unprecedent brain permissibility to SARS-CoV-2 replication and developing a lethal disease in <4 days post infection. Even though the neurotropism of SARS-CoV-2 is now well established, so far other vaccine strategies under development have not taken into account the protection of central nervous system. Using our highly stringent transgenic model, we demonstrated that an intranasal booster immunization with the developed lentivector vaccine candidate achieves full protection of both respiratory tracts and central nervous system against SARS-CoV-2.

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