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1.
Antiviral Res ; 198: 105253, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654044

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoCs) has exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic. End of November 2021, a new SARS-CoV-2 variant namely the omicron (B.1.1.529) emerged. Since this omicron variant is heavily mutated in the spike protein, WHO classified this variant as the 5th variant of concern (VoC). We previously demonstrated that the ancestral strain and the other SARS-CoV-2 VoCs replicate efficiently in and cause a COVID19-like pathology in Syrian hamsters. We here wanted to explore the infectivity of the omicron variant in comparison to the ancestral D614G strain in the hamster model. Strikingly, in hamsters that had been infected with the omicron variant, a 3 log10 lower viral RNA load was detected in the lungs as compared to animals infected with D614G and no infectious virus was detectable in this organ. Moreover, histopathological examination of the lungs from omicron-infected hamsters revealed no signs of peri-bronchial inflammation or bronchopneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Animals , Cricetinae , Humans , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus/virology , Species Specificity , Viral Load
2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295991

ABSTRACT

All currently used first-generation COVID-19 vaccines are based on prototypic spike sequences from ancestral 2019 SARS-CoV-2 strains. However, it remains unclear to which extent vaccination protects against variants of concern (VOC) which fuel the ongoing pandemic. Here we show in a stringent hamster challenge model that immunization using prototypic spike expressed form a potent YF17D viral vector (Sanchez-Felipe et al. 2021) provides vigorous protection against infection with ancestral virus and VOC Alpha (B.1.1.7), however, is insufficient to provide optimal protection against the Beta (B.1.351) variant. To improve vaccine efficacy, a revised vaccine candidate was created that carries a modified spike antigen designed to cover the entire VOC spectrum. Vaccination of hamsters with this updated vaccine candidate provides full protection against intranasal challenge with all four VOC Alpha, Beta, Gamma (P.1) and Delta (B.1.617.2) resulting in complete elimination of infectious virus from the lungs and a marked improvement in lung pathology. Vaccinated hamsters did also no longer transmit the Delta variant to non-vaccinated sentinels. Overall, our data indicate that current first-generation COVID-19 vaccines need to be urgently updated to cover emerging sequence diversity of VOCs to maintain vaccine efficacy and to impede virus spread at the community level.

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293110

ABSTRACT

Current licensed COVID-19 vaccines are based on antigen sequences of initial SARS-CoV-2 isolates that emerged in 2019. By mid 2021 these historical virus strains have been completely replaced by new cosmopolitan SARS-CoV-2 lineages. The ongoing pandemic has been further driven by emerging variants of concern (VOC) Alpha, Beta, Gamma and, lately predominant, Delta. These are characterized by an increased transmissibility and possible escape from naturally acquired or vaccine-induced immunity. We here show, using a YF17D-vectored first-generation COVID-19 vaccine (Sanchez-Felipe et al., 2021) and a stringent hamster challenge model (Abdelnabi et al., 2021) that the immunity elicited by a prototypic spike antigen is insufficient to provide optimal protection against the Beta VoC, urging for an antigenic update. We therefore designed an updated second-generation vaccine candidate that carries the sequence of a spike antigen that includes crucial epitopes from multiple VOCs. This vaccine candidate yielded a marked change in target antigen spectrum covered as demonstrated by (i) antigenic cartography and (ii) full protection against infection and virus-induced disease caused by any of the four VOCs (Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta) used for challenge. This more universal COVID-19 vaccine candidate also efficiently blocked direct transmission of VOC Delta from vaccinated infected hamsters to non-vaccinated sentinels under prolonged co-housing conditions. In conclusion, our data suggest that current first-generation COVID-19 vaccines need to be adapted to cover emerging sequence diversity of VOC to preserve vaccine efficacy and to contain virus spread at the community level.

4.
Nature ; 590(7845): 320-325, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953381

ABSTRACT

The expanding pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) requires the development of safe, efficacious and fast-acting vaccines. Several vaccine platforms are being leveraged for a rapid emergency response1. Here we describe the development of a candidate vaccine (YF-S0) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that uses live-attenuated yellow fever 17D (YF17D) vaccine as a vector to express a noncleavable prefusion form of the SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen. We assess vaccine safety, immunogenicity and efficacy in several animal models. YF-S0 has an excellent safety profile and induces high levels of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), mice (Mus musculus) and cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis), and-concomitantly-protective immunity against yellow fever virus. Humoral immunity is complemented by a cellular immune response with favourable T helper 1 polarization, as profiled in mice. In a hamster model2 and in macaques, YF-S0 prevents infection with SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, a single dose conferred protection from lung disease in most of the vaccinated hamsters within as little as 10 days. Taken together, the quality of the immune responses triggered and the rapid kinetics by which protective immunity can be attained after a single dose warrant further development of this potent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Genetic Vectors/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Attenuated/immunology , Yellow Fever Vaccine/genetics , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Glycosylation , Macaca fascicularis/genetics , Macaca fascicularis/immunology , Macaca fascicularis/virology , Male , Mesocricetus/genetics , Mesocricetus/immunology , Mesocricetus/virology , Mice , Safety , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccines, Attenuated/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Attenuated/adverse effects , Vaccines, Attenuated/genetics
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