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biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.08.01.454662


Nucleoside modified mRNA combined with Acuitas Therapeutics' lipid nanoparticles (LNP) have been shown to support robust humoral immune responses in many preclinical animal vaccine studies and later in humans with the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. We recently showed that this platform is highly inflammatory due to the LNPs' ionizable lipid component. The inflammatory property is key to support the development of potent humoral immune responses. However, the mechanism by which this platform drives T follicular helper cells (Tfh) and humoral immune responses remains unknown. Here we show that lack of Langerhans cells or cDC1s neither significantly affected the induction of PR8 HA and SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific Tfh cells and humoral immune responses, nor susceptibility towards the lethal challenge of influenza and SARS-CoV-2. However, the combined deletion of these two DC subsets led to a significant decrease in the induction of PR8 HA and SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific Tfh cell and humoral immune responses. Despite these observed defects, the still high antibody titers were sufficient to confer protection towards lethal viral challenges. We further found that IL-6, but not neutrophils, was required to generate Tfh cells and antibody responses. In summary, here we bring evidence that the mRNA-LNP platform can support protective adaptive immune responses in the absence of specific DC subsets through an IL-6 dependent and neutrophil independent mechanism.

biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.01.19.427373


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emergent coronavirus that has caused a worldwide pandemic. Although human disease is often asymptomatic, some develop severe illnesses such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, and death. There is an urgent need for a vaccine to prevent its rapid spread as asymptomatic infections accounting for up to 40% of transmission events. Here we further evaluated an inactivated rabies vectored SARS-CoV-2 S1 vaccine CORAVAX in a Syrian hamster model. CORAVAX adjuvanted with MPLA-AddaVax, a TRL4 agonist, induced high levels of neutralizing antibodies and generated a strong Th1-biased immune response. Vaccinated hamsters were protected from weight loss and viral replication in the lungs and nasal turbinates three days after challenge with SARS-CoV-2. CORAVAX also prevented lung disease, as indicated by the significant reduction in lung pathology. This study highlights CORAVAX as a safe, immunogenic, and efficacious vaccine that warrants further assessment in human trials.

Pneumonia , Lung Diseases , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Respiratory Insufficiency , Weight Loss , Death