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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 5680, 2022 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931430

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the infectious disease COVID-19, which has rapidly become an international pandemic with significant impact on healthcare systems and the global economy. To assist antiviral therapy and vaccine development efforts, we performed a natural history/time course study of SARS-CoV-2 infection in ferrets to characterise and assess the suitability of this animal model. Ten ferrets of each sex were challenged intranasally with 4.64 × 104 TCID50 of SARS-CoV-2 isolate Australia/VIC01/2020 and monitored for clinical disease signs, viral shedding, and tissues collected post-mortem for histopathological and virological assessment at set intervals. We found that SARS-CoV-2 replicated in the upper respiratory tract of ferrets with consistent viral shedding in nasal wash samples and oral swab samples up until day 9. Infectious SARS-CoV-2 was recovered from nasal washes, oral swabs, nasal turbinates, pharynx, and olfactory bulb samples within 3-7 days post-challenge; however, only viral RNA was detected by qRT-PCR in samples collected from the trachea, lung, and parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Viral antigen was seen exclusively in nasal epithelium and associated sloughed cells and draining lymph nodes upon immunohistochemical staining. Due to the absence of clinical signs after viral challenge, our ferret model is appropriate for studying asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections and most suitable for use in vaccine efficacy studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ferrets , Animals , Nasal Mucosa , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
2.
NPJ Vaccines ; 5: 96, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343456

ABSTRACT

The 'D614G' mutation (Aspartate-to-Glycine change at position 614) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has been speculated to adversely affect the efficacy of most vaccines and countermeasures that target this glycoprotein, necessitating frequent vaccine matching. Virus neutralisation assays were performed using sera from ferrets which received two doses of the INO-4800 COVID-19 vaccine, and Australian virus isolates (VIC01, SA01 and VIC31) which either possess or lack this mutation but are otherwise comparable. Through this approach, supported by biomolecular modelling of this mutation and the commonly-associated P314L mutation in the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, we have shown that there is no experimental evidence to support this speculation. We additionally demonstrate that the putative elastase cleavage site introduced by the D614G mutation is unlikely to be accessible to proteases.

3.
ILAR J ; 62(1-2): 232-237, 2021 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280105

ABSTRACT

This case report discusses Type I hypersensitivity in ferrets following exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) inoculum, observed during a study investigating the efficacy of candidate COVID-19 vaccines. Following a comprehensive internal root-cause investigation, it was hypothesized that prior prime-boost immunization of ferrets with a commercial canine C3 vaccine to protect against the canine distemper virus had resulted in primary immune response to fetal bovine serum (FBS) in the C3 preparation. Upon intranasal exposure to SARS-CoV-2 virus cultured in medium containing FBS, an allergic airway response occurred in 6 out of 56 of the ferrets. The 6 impacted ferrets were randomly dispersed across study groups, including different COVID-19 vaccine candidates, routes of vaccine candidate administration, and controls (placebo). The root-cause investigation and subsequent analysis determined that the allergic reaction was unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine candidates under evaluation. Histological assessment suggested that the allergic response was characterized by eosinophilic airway disease; increased serum immunoglobulin levels reactive to FBS further suggested this response was caused by immune priming to FBS present in the C3 vaccine. This was further supported by in vivo studies demonstrating ferrets administered diluted FBS also presented clinical signs consistent with a hyperallergic response, while clinical signs were absent in ferrets that received a serum-free SARS-CoV-2 inoculum. It is therefore recommended that vaccine studies in higher order animals should consider the impact of welfare vaccination and use serum-free inoculum whenever possible.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hypersensitivity, Immediate , Viral Vaccines , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Dogs , Ferrets , SARS-CoV-2
4.
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 67, 2021 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223093

ABSTRACT

Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are likely to be critical in the management of the ongoing pandemic. A number of candidates are in Phase III human clinical trials, including ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222), a replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine candidate. In preclinical trials, the efficacy of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 against SARS-CoV-2 challenge was evaluated in a ferret model of infection. Groups of ferrets received either prime-only or prime-boost administration of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 via the intramuscular or intranasal route. All ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 administration combinations resulted in significant reductions in viral loads in nasal-wash and oral swab samples. No vaccine-associated adverse events were observed associated with the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 candidate, with the data from this study suggesting it could be an effective and safe vaccine against COVID-19. Our study also indicates the potential for intranasal administration as a way to further improve the efficacy of this leading vaccine candidate.

5.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 69(2): 297-307, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007329

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging virus that has caused significant human morbidity and mortality since its detection in late 2019. With the rapid emergence has come an unprecedented programme of vaccine development with at least 300 candidates under development. Ferrets have proven to be an appropriate animal model for testing safety and efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines due to quantifiable virus shedding in nasal washes and oral swabs. Here, we outline our efforts early in the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak to propagate and characterize an Australian isolate of the virus in vitro and in an ex vivo model of human airway epithelium, as well as to demonstrate the susceptibility of domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) to SARS-CoV-2 infection following intranasal challenge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ferrets , Animals , Australia , COVID-19/veterinary , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Front Immunol ; 11: 559113, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-868963

ABSTRACT

As the recent outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 has highlighted, the threat of a pandemic event from zoonotic viruses, such as the deadly influenza A/H7N9 virus subtype, continues to be a major global health concern. H7N9 virus strains appear to exhibit greater disease severity in mammalian hosts compared to natural avian hosts, though the exact mechanisms underlying this are somewhat unclear. Knowledge of the H7N9 host-pathogen interactions have mainly been constrained to natural sporadic human infections. To elucidate the cellular immune mechanisms associated with disease severity and progression, we used a ferret model to closely resemble disease outcomes in humans following influenza virus infection. Intriguingly, we observed variable disease outcomes when ferrets were inoculated with the A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) strain. We observed relatively reduced antigen-presenting cell activation in lymphoid tissues which may be correlative with increased disease severity. Additionally, depletions in CD8+ T cells were not apparent in sick animals. This study provides further insight into the ways that lymphocytes maturate and traffic in response to H7N9 infection in the ferret model.


Subject(s)
Antigen-Presenting Cells/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Influenza A Virus, H7N9 Subtype/physiology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Animals , Antigen-Presenting Cells/pathology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Ferrets , Humans , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/pathology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
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