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1.
J Virol ; 95(23): e0097421, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410203

ABSTRACT

The global COVID-19 pandemic has sparked intense interest in the rapid development of vaccines as well as animal models to evaluate vaccine candidates and to define immune correlates of protection. We recently reported a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 virus strain (MA10) with the potential to infect wild-type laboratory mice, driving high levels of viral replication in respiratory tract tissues as well as severe clinical and respiratory symptoms, aspects of COVID-19 disease in humans that are important to capture in model systems. We evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of novel rhesus adenovirus serotype 52 (RhAd52) vaccines against MA10 challenge in mice. Baseline seroprevalence is lower for rhesus adenovirus vectors than for human or chimpanzee adenovirus vectors, making these vectors attractive candidates for vaccine development. We observed that RhAd52 vaccines elicited robust binding and neutralizing antibody titers, which inversely correlated with viral replication after challenge. These data support the development of RhAd52 vaccines and the use of the MA10 challenge virus to screen novel vaccine candidates and to study the immunologic mechanisms that underscore protection from SARS-CoV-2 challenge in wild-type mice. IMPORTANCE We have developed a series of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines using rhesus adenovirus serotype 52 (RhAd52) vectors, which exhibit a lower seroprevalence than human and chimpanzee vectors, supporting their development as novel vaccine vectors or as an alternative adenovirus (Ad) vector for boosting. We sought to test these vaccines using a recently reported mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 (MA10) virus to (i) evaluate the protective efficacy of RhAd52 vaccines and (ii) further characterize this mouse-adapted challenge model and probe immune correlates of protection. We demonstrate that RhAd52 vaccines elicit robust SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses and protect against clinical disease and viral replication in the lungs. Further, binding and neutralizing antibody titers correlated with protective efficacy. These data validate the MA10 mouse model as a useful tool to screen and study novel vaccine candidates, as well as the development of RhAd52 vaccines for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Adenovirus Vaccines/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adenoviridae Infections/immunology , Adenoviruses, Simian/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Macaca mulatta/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vaccination
2.
JAMA ; 325(15): 1535-1544, 2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222577

ABSTRACT

Importance: Control of the global COVID-19 pandemic will require the development and deployment of safe and effective vaccines. Objective: To evaluate the immunogenicity of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) in humans, including the kinetics, magnitude, and phenotype of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Design, Setting, and Participants: Twenty-five participants were enrolled from July 29, 2020, to August 7, 2020, and the follow-up for this day 71 interim analysis was completed on October 3, 2020; follow-up to assess durability will continue for 2 years. This study was conducted at a single clinical site in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 clinical trial of Ad26.COV2.S. Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive 1 or 2 intramuscular injections with 5 × 1010 viral particles or 1 × 1011 viral particles of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine or placebo administered on day 1 and day 57 (5 participants in each group). Main Outcomes and Measures: Humoral immune responses included binding and neutralizing antibody responses at multiple time points following immunization. Cellular immune responses included immunospot-based and intracellular cytokine staining assays to measure T-cell responses. Results: Twenty-five participants were randomized (median age, 42; age range, 22-52; 52% women, 44% male, 4% undifferentiated), and all completed the trial through the day 71 interim end point. Binding and neutralizing antibodies emerged rapidly by day 8 after initial immunization in 90% and 25% of vaccine recipients, respectively. By day 57, binding and neutralizing antibodies were detected in 100% of vaccine recipients after a single immunization. On day 71, the geometric mean titers of spike-specific binding antibodies were 2432 to 5729 and the geometric mean titers of neutralizing antibodies were 242 to 449 in the vaccinated groups. A variety of antibody subclasses, Fc receptor binding properties, and antiviral functions were induced. CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses were induced. Conclusion and Relevance: In this phase 1 study, a single immunization with Ad26.COV2.S induced rapid binding and neutralization antibody responses as well as cellular immune responses. Two phase 3 clinical trials are currently underway to determine the efficacy of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04436276.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Cellular , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Male , Middle Aged , Vaccine Potency , Young Adult
3.
J Virol ; 2021 Mar 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138296

ABSTRACT

Pseudotyped viruses are valuable tools for studying virulent or lethal viral pathogens that need to be handled in biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) or higher facilities. With the explosive spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the establishment of a BSL-2 adapted SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus neutralization assay is needed to facilitate the development of countermeasures. Here we describe an approach to generate a single-round lentiviral vector-based SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, which produced a signal more than 2 logs above background. Specifically, a SARS-CoV-2 spike variant with a cytoplasmic tail deletion of 13 amino acids, termed SΔCT13, conferred enhanced spike incorporation into pseudovirions and increased viral entry into cells as compared with full-length spike (S). We further compared S and SΔCT13 in terms of their sensitivity to vaccine sera, purified convalescent IgG, hACE2-mIgG, and the virus entry inhibitor BafA1. We developed a SΔCT13-based pseudovirus neutralization assay and defined key assay characteristics, including linearity, limit of detection, and intra- and intermediate-assay precision. Our data demonstrate that the SΔCT13-based pseudovirus shows enhanced infectivity in target cells, which will facilitate the assessment of humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection, antibody therapeutics, and vaccination. This pseudovirus neutralization assay can also be readily adapted to SARS-CoV-2 variants that emerge.IMPORTANCESARS-CoV-2 is the etiologic agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. The development of a high throughput pseudovirus neutralization assay is critical for the development of vaccines and immune-based therapeutics. In this study, we show that deletion of the cytoplasmic tail of the SARS-CoV-2 spike leads to pseudoviruses with enhanced infectivity. This SΔCT13-based pseudovirus neutralization assay should be broadly useful for the field.

4.
JAMA ; 325(15): 1535-1544, 2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1126322

ABSTRACT

Importance: Control of the global COVID-19 pandemic will require the development and deployment of safe and effective vaccines. Objective: To evaluate the immunogenicity of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) in humans, including the kinetics, magnitude, and phenotype of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Design, Setting, and Participants: Twenty-five participants were enrolled from July 29, 2020, to August 7, 2020, and the follow-up for this day 71 interim analysis was completed on October 3, 2020; follow-up to assess durability will continue for 2 years. This study was conducted at a single clinical site in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 clinical trial of Ad26.COV2.S. Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive 1 or 2 intramuscular injections with 5 × 1010 viral particles or 1 × 1011 viral particles of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine or placebo administered on day 1 and day 57 (5 participants in each group). Main Outcomes and Measures: Humoral immune responses included binding and neutralizing antibody responses at multiple time points following immunization. Cellular immune responses included immunospot-based and intracellular cytokine staining assays to measure T-cell responses. Results: Twenty-five participants were randomized (median age, 42; age range, 22-52; 52% women, 44% male, 4% undifferentiated), and all completed the trial through the day 71 interim end point. Binding and neutralizing antibodies emerged rapidly by day 8 after initial immunization in 90% and 25% of vaccine recipients, respectively. By day 57, binding and neutralizing antibodies were detected in 100% of vaccine recipients after a single immunization. On day 71, the geometric mean titers of spike-specific binding antibodies were 2432 to 5729 and the geometric mean titers of neutralizing antibodies were 242 to 449 in the vaccinated groups. A variety of antibody subclasses, Fc receptor binding properties, and antiviral functions were induced. CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses were induced. Conclusion and Relevance: In this phase 1 study, a single immunization with Ad26.COV2.S induced rapid binding and neutralization antibody responses as well as cellular immune responses. Two phase 3 clinical trials are currently underway to determine the efficacy of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04436276.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Cellular , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Male , Middle Aged , Vaccine Potency , Young Adult
6.
Nature ; 590(7847): 630-634, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-960322

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have reported the protective efficacy of both natural1 and vaccine-induced2-7 immunity against challenge with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in rhesus macaques. However, the importance of humoral and cellular immunity for protection against infection with SARS-CoV-2 remains to be determined. Here we show that the adoptive transfer of purified IgG from convalescent rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) protects naive recipient macaques against challenge with SARS-CoV-2 in a dose-dependent fashion. Depletion of CD8+ T cells in convalescent macaques partially abrogated the protective efficacy of natural immunity against rechallenge with SARS-CoV-2, which suggests a role for cellular immunity in the context of waning or subprotective antibody titres. These data demonstrate that relatively low antibody titres are sufficient for protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques, and that cellular immune responses may contribute to protection if antibody responses are suboptimal. We also show that higher antibody titres are required for treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection in macaques. These findings have implications for the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and immune-based therapeutic agents.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adoptive Transfer , Animals , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G/administration & dosage , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Macaca mulatta/virology , Male , Regression Analysis , Viral Load/immunology
7.
medRxiv ; 2020 Jul 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-915962

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Characterizing the humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and developing accurate serologic assays are needed for diagnostic purposes and estimating population-level seroprevalence. METHODS: We measured the kinetics of early antibody responses to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 in a cohort of 259 symptomatic North American patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 (up to 75 days after symptom onset) compared to antibody levels in 1548 individuals whose blood samples were obtained prior to the pandemic. RESULTS: Between 14-28 days from onset of symptoms, IgG, IgA, or IgM antibody responses to RBD were all accurate in identifying recently infected individuals, with 100% specificity and a sensitivity of 97%, 91%, and 81% respectively. Although the estimated median time to becoming seropositive was similar across isotypes, IgA and IgM antibodies against RBD were short-lived with most individuals estimated to become seronegative again by 51 and 47 days after symptom onset, respectively. IgG antibodies against RBD lasted longer and persisted through 75 days post-symptoms. IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 RBD were highly correlated with neutralizing antibodies targeting the S protein. No cross-reactivity of the SARS-CoV-2 RBD-targeted antibodies was observed with several known circulating coronaviruses, HKU1, OC 229 E, OC43, and NL63. CONCLUSIONS: Among symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 cases, RBD-targeted antibodies can be indicative of previous and recent infection. IgG antibodies are correlated with neutralizing antibodies and are possibly a correlate of protective immunity.

8.
Sci Immunol ; 5(52)2020 10 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-842518

ABSTRACT

We measured plasma and/or serum antibody responses to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 in 343 North American patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 (of which 93% required hospitalization) up to 122 days after symptom onset and compared them to responses in 1548 individuals whose blood samples were obtained prior to the pandemic. After setting seropositivity thresholds for perfect specificity (100%), we estimated sensitivities of 95% for IgG, 90% for IgA, and 81% for IgM for detecting infected individuals between 15 and 28 days after symptom onset. While the median time to seroconversion was nearly 12 days across all three isotypes tested, IgA and IgM antibodies against RBD were short-lived with median times to seroreversion of 71 and 49 days after symptom onset. In contrast, anti-RBD IgG responses decayed slowly through 90 days with only 3 seropositive individuals seroreverting within this time period. IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 RBD were strongly correlated with anti-S neutralizing antibody titers, which demonstrated little to no decrease over 75 days since symptom onset. We observed no cross-reactivity of the SARS-CoV-2 RBD-targeted antibodies with other widely circulating coronaviruses (HKU1, 229 E, OC43, NL63). These data suggest that RBD-targeted antibodies are excellent markers of previous and recent infection, that differential isotype measurements can help distinguish between recent and older infections, and that IgG responses persist over the first few months after infection and are highly correlated with neutralizing antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Protein Domains/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross Reactions , Dried Blood Spot Testing , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
9.
NPJ Vaccines ; 5: 91, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-811571

ABSTRACT

Development of effective preventative interventions against SARS-CoV-2, the etiologic agent of COVID-19 is urgently needed. The viral surface spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 is a key target for prophylactic measures as it is critical for the viral replication cycle and the primary target of neutralizing antibodies. We evaluated design elements previously shown for other coronavirus S protein-based vaccines to be successful, e.g., prefusion-stabilizing substitutions and heterologous signal peptides, for selection of a S-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate. In vitro characterization demonstrated that the introduction of stabilizing substitutions (i.e., furin cleavage site mutations and two consecutive prolines in the hinge region of S2) increased the ratio of neutralizing versus non-neutralizing antibody binding, suggestive for a prefusion conformation of the S protein. Furthermore, the wild-type signal peptide was best suited for the correct cleavage needed for a natively folded protein. These observations translated into superior immunogenicity in mice where the Ad26 vector encoding for a membrane-bound stabilized S protein with a wild-type signal peptide elicited potent neutralizing humoral immunity and cellular immunity that was polarized towards Th1 IFN-γ. This optimized Ad26 vector-based vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, termed Ad26.COV2.S, is currently being evaluated in a phase I clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04436276).

10.
Nature ; 586(7830): 583-588, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-690836

ABSTRACT

A safe and effective vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may be required to end the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic1-8. For global deployment and pandemic control, a vaccine that requires only a single immunization would be optimal. Here we show the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a single dose of adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector-based vaccines expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein in non-human primates. Fifty-two rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) were immunized with Ad26 vectors that encoded S variants or sham control, and then challenged with SARS-CoV-2 by the intranasal and intratracheal routes9,10. The optimal Ad26 vaccine induced robust neutralizing antibody responses and provided complete or near-complete protection in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal swabs after SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Titres of vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies correlated with protective efficacy, suggesting an immune correlate of protection. These data demonstrate robust single-shot vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 in non-human primates. The optimal Ad26 vector-based vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, termed Ad26.COV2.S, is currently being evaluated in clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Macaca mulatta , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Macaca mulatta/virology , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Viral Load
11.
Science ; 369(6505): 812-817, 2020 08 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-327276

ABSTRACT

An understanding of protective immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is critical for vaccine and public health strategies aimed at ending the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. A key unanswered question is whether infection with SARS-CoV-2 results in protective immunity against reexposure. We developed a rhesus macaque model of SARS-CoV-2 infection and observed that macaques had high viral loads in the upper and lower respiratory tract, humoral and cellular immune responses, and pathologic evidence of viral pneumonia. After the initial viral clearance, animals were rechallenged with SARS-CoV-2 and showed 5 log10 reductions in median viral loads in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal mucosa compared with after the primary infection. Anamnestic immune responses after rechallenge suggested that protection was mediated by immunologic control. These data show that SARS-CoV-2 infection induced protective immunity against reexposure in nonhuman primates.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunologic Memory , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/immunology , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/pathology , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/virology , Macaca mulatta , Male , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Recurrence , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Load , Virus Replication
12.
Science ; 369(6505): 806-811, 2020 08 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-326877

ABSTRACT

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has made the development of a vaccine a top biomedical priority. In this study, we developed a series of DNA vaccine candidates expressing different forms of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and evaluated them in 35 rhesus macaques. Vaccinated animals developed humoral and cellular immune responses, including neutralizing antibody titers at levels comparable to those found in convalescent humans and macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2. After vaccination, all animals were challenged with SARS-CoV-2, and the vaccine encoding the full-length S protein resulted in >3.1 and >3.7 log10 reductions in median viral loads in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal mucosa, respectively, as compared with viral loads in sham controls. Vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibody titers correlated with protective efficacy, suggesting an immune correlate of protection. These data demonstrate vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 in nonhuman primates.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Secondary , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunologic Memory , Macaca mulatta , Male , Mutant Proteins/chemistry , Mutant Proteins/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Viral Load , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage
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