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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4182, 2022 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947341

ABSTRACT

Vaccine development is essential for pandemic preparedness. We previously conducted a Phase 1 clinical trial of the vector vaccine candidate MVA-MERS-S against the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), expressing its full spike glycoprotein (MERS-CoV-S), as a homologous two-dose regimen (Days 0 and 28). Here, we evaluate the safety (primary objective) and immunogenicity (secondary and exploratory objectives: magnitude and characterization of vaccine-induced humoral responses) of a third vaccination with MVA-MERS-S in a subgroup of trial participants one year after primary immunization. MVA-MERS-S booster vaccination is safe and well-tolerated. Both binding and neutralizing anti-MERS-CoV antibody titers increase substantially in all participants and exceed maximum titers observed after primary immunization more than 10-fold. We identify four immunogenic IgG epitopes, located in the receptor-binding domain (RBD, n = 1) and the S2 subunit (n = 3) of MERS-CoV-S. The level of baseline anti-human coronavirus antibody titers does not impact the generation of anti-MERS-CoV antibody responses. Our data support the rationale of a booster vaccination with MVA-MERS-S and encourage further investigation in larger trials. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03615911.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Epitopes , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination
2.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(7): 100685, 2022 Jul 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937310

ABSTRACT

The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a respiratory disease caused by MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV). In follow up to a phase 1 trial, we perform a longitudinal analysis of immune responses following immunization with the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA)-based vaccine MVA-MERS-S encoding the MERS-CoV-spike protein. Three homologous immunizations were administered on days 0 and 28 with a late booster vaccination at 12 ± 4 months. Antibody isotypes, subclasses, and neutralization capacity as well as T and B cell responses were monitored over a period of 3 years using standard and bead-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), 50% plaque-reduction neutralization test (PRNT50), enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot), and flow cytometry. The late booster immunization significantly increases the frequency and persistence of spike-specific B cells, binding immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and neutralizing antibodies but not T cell responses. Our data highlight the potential of a late boost to enhance long-term antibody and B cell immunity against MERS-CoV. Our findings on the MVA-MERS-S vaccine may be of relevance for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Vaccination , Vaccinia virus
5.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(9): 1165-1168, 2021 Sep.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349280

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers are among the most exposed and potentially most threatened populations of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite some reports on numbers of infections with SARS-CoV­2 in German healthcare workers, the courses of their clinical presentation when affected by COVID-19 are not well described. OBJECTIVE: In this contribution, characteristics and progressions of infected cases among healthcare workers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will be presented. METHODS: Between 1 July and 28 July 2020, 67 healthcare workers, who previously tested positive for SARS-CoV­2 via PCR, were invited via E­mail to participate in an anonymous online questionnaire; 39 persons participated. RESULTS: Participants (58%) were mostly ≤ 39 years old (64%) and female (70%). Most healthcare workers were involved in direct patient management (85%), including contact with SARS-CoV­2 positive patients (62%). All participants reported acute symptoms with a median duration of 19 days. The most frequent symptoms were fatigue (85%), anosmia (67%), cough (64%), headache (62%), and shortness of breath (51%). The disease course was mostly mild with low admission rates (5%). Ongoing symptoms lasting more than four weeks post-symptom-onset, particularly anosmia, fatigue, and shortness of breath, were reported by 38%. This group more frequently had pre-existing conditions (53% vs. 12%, p = 0.010), specifically hypertension (27% vs. 4%, p = 0.062). DISCUSSION: Healthcare workers reported mostly mild courses of COVID-19 despite increased contact with SARS-CoV-2 patients. However, some reported persistent symptoms months after infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Academic Medical Centers , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Universities
6.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 549-573, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222734

ABSTRACT

The history of vaccine development spans centuries. At first, whole pathogens were used as vaccine agents, either inactivated or attenuated, to reduce virulence in humans. Safety and tolerability were increased by including only specific proteins as antigens and using cell culture methods, while novel vaccine strategies, like nucleic acid- or vector-based vaccines, hold high promise for the future. Vaccines have generally not been employed as the primary tools in outbreak response, but this might change since advances in medical technology in the last decades have made the concept of developing vaccines against novel pathogens a realistic strategy. Wandering the uncharted territory of a novel pathogen, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), we can learn from other human Betacoronaviridae that emerged in the last decades, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. We can identify the most likely target structures of immunity, establish animal models that emulate human disease and immunity as closely as possible, and learn about complex mechanisms of immune interaction such as cross-reactivity or antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). However, significant knowledge gaps remain. What are the correlates of protection? How do we best induce immunity in vulnerable populations like the elderly? Will the immunity induced by vaccination (or by natural infection) wane over time? To date, at least 149 vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2 are under development. At the time of writing, at least 17 candidates have already progressed past preclinical studies (in vitro models and in vivo animal experiments) into clinical development. This chapter will provide an overview of this rapidly developing field.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Vaccines , Viral Vaccines , Aged , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Pathogens ; 10(4)2021 Apr 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1178372

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). A better understanding of its immunogenicity can be important for the development of improved diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. Here, we report the longitudinal analysis of three COVID-19 patients with moderate (#1) and mild disease (#2 and #3). Antibody serum responses were analyzed using spike glycoprotein enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), full-proteome peptide, and glycan microarrays. ELISA immunoglobulin A, G, and M (IgA, IgG, and IgM) signals increased over time for individuals #1 and #2, whereas #3 only showed no clear positive IgG and IgM result. In contrast, peptide microarrays showed increasing IgA/G signal intensity and epitope spread only in the moderate patient #1 over time, whereas early but transient IgA and stable IgG responses were observed in the two mild cases #2 and #3. Glycan arrays showed an interaction of antibodies to fragments of high-mannose and core N-glycans, present on the viral shield. In contrast to protein ELISA, microarrays allow for a deeper understanding of IgA, IgG, and IgM antibody responses to specific epitopes of the whole proteome and glycans of SARS-CoV-2 in parallel. In the future, this may help to better understand and to monitor vaccination programs and monoclonal antibodies as therapeutics.

8.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(3)2021 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125926

ABSTRACT

We are in the midst of a pandemic caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 has caused more than two million deaths after one year of the pandemic. The world is experiencing a deep economic recession. Safe and effective vaccines are needed to prevent further morbidity and mortality. Vaccine candidates against COVID-19 have been developed at an unprecedented speed, with more than 200 vaccine candidates currently under investigation. Among those, 20 candidates have entered the clinical Phase 3 to evaluate efficacy, and three have been approved by the European Medicines Agency. The aim of immunization is to act against infection, disease and/or transmission. However, the measurement of vaccine efficacy is challenging, as efficacy trials need to include large cohorts with verum and placebo cohorts. In the future, this will be even more challenging as further vaccine candidates will receive approval, an increasing number of humans will receive vaccinations and incidence might decrease. To evaluate novel and second-generation vaccine candidates, randomized placebo-controlled trials might not be appropriate anymore. Correlates of protection (CoP) could be an important tool to evaluate novel vaccine candidates, but vaccine-induced CoP have not been clearly defined for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. In this review, we report on immunogenicity against natural SARS-CoV-2 infection, vaccine-induced immune responses and discuss immunological markers that can be linked to protection. By discussing the immunogenicity and efficacy of forerunner vaccines, we aim to give a comprehensive overview of possible efficacy measures and CoP.

9.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(7): 827-838, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1103186

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes a respiratory disease with a case fatality rate of up to 35%. Given its potential to cause a public health emergency and the absence of efficacious drugs or vaccines, MERS is one of the WHO priority diseases warranting urgent research and development of countermeasures. We aimed to assess safety and tolerability of an anti-MERS-CoV modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA)-based vaccine candidate that expresses the MERS-CoV spike glycoprotein, MVA-MERS-S, in healthy adults. METHODS: This open-label, phase 1 trial was done at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Hamburg, Germany). Participants were healthy men and women aged 18-55 years with no clinically significant health problems as determined during medical history and physical examination, a body-mass index of 18·5-30·0 kg/m2 and weight of more than 50 kg at screening, and a negative pregnancy test for women. A key exclusion criterion was a previous MVA vaccination. For the prime immunisation, participants received doses of 1 × 107 plaque-forming unit (PFU; low-dose group) or 1 × 108 PFU (high-dose group) MVA-MERS-S intramuscularly. A second identical dose was administered intramuscularly as a booster immunisation 28 days after first injection. As a control group for immunogenicity analyses, blood samples were drawn at identical study timepoints from six healthy adults, who did not receive any injections. The primary objectives of the study were safety and tolerability of the two dosage levels and reactogenicity after administration. Immunogenicity was assessed as a secondary endpoint by ELISA and neutralisation tests. T-cell immunity was evaluated by interferon-γ-linked enzyme-linked immune absorbent spot assay. All participants who were vaccinated at least once were included in the safety analysis. Immunogenicity was analysed in the participants who completed 6 months of follow-up. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03615911, and EudraCT, 2014-003195-23 FINDINGS: From Dec 17, 2017, to June 5, 2018, 26 participants (14 in the low-dose group and 12 in the high-dose group) were enrolled and received the first dose of the vaccine according to their group allocation. Of these, 23 participants (12 in the low-dose group and 11 in the high-dose group) received a second dose of MVA-MERS-S according to their group allocation after a 28-day interval and completed follow-up. Homologous prime-boost immunisation with MVA-MERS-S revealed a benign safety profile with only transient mild-to-moderate reactogenicity. Participants had no severe or serious adverse events. 67 vaccine-related adverse events were reported in ten (71%) of 14 participants in the low-dose group, and 111 were reported in ten (83%) of 12 participants in the high-dose group. Solicited local reactions were the most common adverse events: pain was observed in 17 (65%; seven in the low-dose group vs ten in the high-dose group) participants, swelling in ten (38%; two vs eight) participants, and induration in ten (38%; one vs nine) participants. Headaches (observed in seven participants in the low-dose group vs nine in the high-dose group) and fatigue or malaise (ten vs seven participants) were the most common solicited systemic adverse events. All adverse events resolved swiftly (within 1-3 days) and without sequelae. Following booster immunisation, nine (75%) of 12 participants in the low-dose group and 11 (100%) participants in the high-dose group showed seroconversion using a MERS-CoV S1 ELISA at any timepoint during the study. Binding antibody titres correlated with MERS-CoV-specific neutralising antibodies (Spearman's correlation r=0·86 [95% CI 0·6960-0·9427], p=0·0001). MERS-CoV spike-specific T-cell responses were detected in ten (83%) of 12 immunised participants in the low-dose group and ten (91%) of 11 immunised participants in the high-dose group. INTERPRETATION: Vaccination with MVA-MERS-S had a favourable safety profile without serious or severe adverse events. Homologous prime-boost immunisation induced humoral and cell-mediated responses against MERS-CoV. A dose-effect relationship was demonstrated for reactogenicity, but not for vaccine-induced immune responses. The data presented here support further clinical testing of MVA-MERS-S in larger cohorts to advance MERS vaccine development. FUNDING: German Center for Infection Research.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Vaccinia virus/genetics , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Genetic Vectors , Germany , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Male , Middle Aged , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Vaccines, DNA , Young Adult
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