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1.
Sci Transl Med ; 14(658): eabq4130, 2022 08 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1992934

ABSTRACT

Despite the remarkable efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, waning immunity and the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants such as Omicron represents a global health challenge. Here, we present data from a study in nonhuman primates demonstrating durable protection against the Omicron BA.1 variant induced by a subunit SARS-CoV-2 vaccine comprising the receptor binding domain of the ancestral strain (RBD-Wu) on the I53-50 nanoparticle adjuvanted with AS03, which was recently authorized for use in individuals 18 years or older. Vaccination induced neutralizing antibody (nAb) titers that were maintained at high concentrations for at least 1 year after two doses, with a pseudovirus nAb geometric mean titer (GMT) of 1978 and a live virus nAb GMT of 1331 against the ancestral strain but not against the Omicron BA.1 variant. However, a booster dose at 6 to 12 months with RBD-Wu or RBD-ß (RBD from the Beta variant) displayed on I53-50 elicited high neutralizing titers against the ancestral and Omicron variants. In addition, we observed persistent neutralization titers against a panel of sarbecoviruses, including SARS-CoV. Furthermore, there were substantial and persistent memory T and B cell responses reactive to Beta and Omicron variants. Vaccination resulted in protection against Omicron infection in the lung and suppression of viral burden in the nares at 6 weeks after the final booster immunization. Even at 6 months after vaccination, we observed protection in the lung and rapid control of virus in the nares. These results highlight the durable and cross-protective immunity elicited by the AS03-adjuvanted RBD-I53-50 nanoparticle vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Subunit
2.
FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology ; 36(Suppl 1), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1980839

ABSTRACT

Neuropathological complications are frequently observed in SARS‐CoV‐2 infection and brain autopsies from human subjects who died from COVID‐19 have revealed significant pathology, including wide‐spread neuroinflammation, hypoxic‐ischemic injury, and microhemorrhages. To begin to understand the neuropathogenesis of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection, we investigated brain from infected non‐human primates (NHP)s for pathological changes consistent with that seen among humans. Eight aged NHPs were inoculated with the 2019‐nCoV/USA‐WA1/2020 strain of SARS‐CoV‐2 via a multi‐route mucosal or aerosol challenge. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining was done on seven brain regions to elucidate general pathology, microhemorrhages, platelet derived thrombi, neuronal apoptosis, microglia and astrocyte morphology, hypoxia, and virus present. Similar to humans, pathology was variable but included wide‐spread neuroinflammation, nodular lesions, neuronal degeneration, and microhemorrhages. Neuronal degeneration was most often seen in the cerebellum and brainstem of infected animals. Neuronal death was confirmed through FluorJade C and cleaved (active) caspase 3 IHC, which showed foci of positivity, particularly among Purkinje cells of the cerebellum. Importantly, this was seen among infected animals that did not develop severe respiratory disease. Hypoxia inducible factor‐1α (HIF‐1α) was observed at a higher intensity around the vasculature within deep brain regions of the infected animals. Microhemorrhages were prevalent among all animals but were less frequently associated with platelet derived thrombi in the infected animals, as compared to mock‐infected controls. Sparse virus was detected in brain endothelial cells but did not associate with the severity of CNS injury. Increased HIF‐1α suggests that brain hypoxia may promote neuronal degeneration within infected brain. Wide‐spread neuroinflammation may also contribute to neuronal injury/death and neurological manifestations seen in the context of infection.

3.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(7): e1010618, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923717

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 emerged in late 2019, rapidly reached pandemic status, and has maintained global ubiquity through the emergence of variants of concern. Efforts to develop animal models have mostly fallen short of recapitulating severe disease, diminishing their utility for research focusing on severe disease pathogenesis and life-saving medical countermeasures. We tested whether route of experimental infection substantially changes COVID-19 disease characteristics in two species of nonhuman primates (Macaca mulatta; rhesus macaques; RM, Chlorocebus atheiops; African green monkeys; AGM). Species-specific cohorts were experimentally infected with SARS-CoV-2 by either direct mucosal (intratracheal + intranasal) instillation or small particle aerosol in route-discrete subcohorts. Both species demonstrated analogous viral loads in all compartments by either exposure route although the magnitude and duration of viral loading was marginally greater in AGMs than RMs. Clinical onset was nearly immediate (+1dpi) in the mucosal exposure cohort whereas clinical signs and cytokine responses in aerosol exposure animals began +7dpi. Pathologies conserved in both species and both exposure modalities include pulmonary myeloid cell influx, development of pleuritis, and extended lack of regenerative capacity in the pulmonary compartment. Demonstration of conserved pulmonary pathology regardless of species and exposure route expands our understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 infection may lead to ARDS and/or functional lung damage and demonstrates the near clinical response of the nonhuman primate model for anti-fibrotic therapeutic evaluation studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aerosols , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Lung/pathology , Macaca mulatta , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Infect Dis ; 226(9): 1588-1592, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1883016

ABSTRACT

Breakthrough gastrointestinal COVID-19 was observed after experimental SARS-CoV-2 upper mucosal infection in a rhesus macaque undergoing low-dose monoclonal antibody prophylaxis. High levels of viral RNA were detected in intestinal sites contrasting with minimal viral replication in upper respiratory mucosa. Sequencing of virus recovered from tissue in 3 gastrointestinal sites and rectal swab revealed loss of furin cleavage site deletions present in the inoculating virus stock and 2 amino acid changes in spike that were detected in 2 colon sites but not elsewhere, suggesting compartmentalized replication and intestinal viral evolution. This suggests suboptimal antiviral therapies promote viral sequestration in these anatomies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Macaca mulatta
5.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820422

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants, including B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma), and B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants, have displayed increased transmissibility and, therefore, have been categorized as variants of concern (VOCs). The pervasiveness of VOCs suggests a high probability of future mutations that may lead to increased virulence. Prior reports have shown that VOC infection without expression of human angiotensin converting enzyme-2 receptor (hACE2) in mice is possible. We sought to understand if the increased transmissibility of VOCs can infect C57BL/6 mice without expression of hACE2 receptor required for entry of SARS-CoV-2 normally. We examined the ability of infection with Beta and Gamma variants to infect and cause both pathological and clinical changes consistent with severe COVID-19, including body weight changes, survival, subgenomic viral titer, lung histology on Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) staining, and viral protein expression as measured by immunohistochemistry staining of viral antigen (IHC). These methods were used to examine three groups of mice: C57BL6, Rag2-/-, and Ccr2-/- mice. We observed that these mice, infected with Beta and Gamma variants of SARS-CoV-2, did not show pathological changes as indicated by weight loss, altered survival, or significant lung pathology on H&E staining. Subgenomic qPCR and IHC staining for viral protein indicated that there was some evidence of infection but far below ACE2 transgenic mice, which showed clinical disease and pathologic changes consistent with ARDS. These data suggest that these variants replicate poorly even in the setting of profound immune deficiency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins
6.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1745, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773978

ABSTRACT

Neurological manifestations are a significant complication of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but underlying mechanisms aren't well understood. The development of animal models that recapitulate the neuropathological findings of autopsied brain tissue from patients who died from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are critical for elucidating the neuropathogenesis of infection and disease. Here, we show neuroinflammation, microhemorrhages, brain hypoxia, and neuropathology that is consistent with hypoxic-ischemic injury in SARS-CoV-2 infected non-human primates (NHPs), including evidence of neuron degeneration and apoptosis. Importantly, this is seen among infected animals that do not develop severe respiratory disease, which may provide insight into neurological symptoms associated with "long COVID". Sparse virus is detected in brain endothelial cells but does not associate with the severity of central nervous system (CNS) injury. We anticipate our findings will advance our current understanding of the neuropathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and demonstrate SARS-CoV-2 infected NHPs are a highly relevant animal model for investigating COVID-19 neuropathogenesis among human subjects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Brain , Endothelial Cells , Humans , Primates
7.
Cell Rep Methods ; 2(2): 100173, 2022 Feb 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1670392

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) that increase transmission or disease severity or reduce diagnostic or vaccine efficacy continue to emerge across the world. Current methods available to rapidly detect these can be resource intensive and thus sub-optimal for large-scale deployment needed during a pandemic response. Here, we describe a CRISPR-based assay that detects mutations in spike gene CRISPR PAM motif or seed regions to identify a pan-specific VOC single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)) ((D614G) and Alpha- and Delta-specific (S982A and D950N) SNPs. This assay exhibits good diagnostic sensitivity and strain specificity with nasal swabs and is designed for use in laboratory and point-of-care settings. This should enable rapid, high-throughput VOC identification required for surveillance and characterization efforts to inform clinical and public health decisions. Furthermore, the assay can be adapted to target similar SNPs associated with emerging SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, or other rapidly evolving viruses.

8.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 629-638, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665837

ABSTRACT

Mounting evidence indicates that SARS-CoV-2 can infect multiple systemic tissues, but few studies have evaluated SARS-CoV-2 RNA dynamics in multiple specimen types due to their reduced accessibility and diminished performance of RT-qPCR with non-respiratory specimens. Here, we employed an ultrasensitive CRISPR-RT-PCR assay to analyze longitudinal mucosal (nasal, buccal, pharyngeal, and rectal), plasma, and breath samples from SARS-CoV-2-infected non-human primates (NHPs) to detect dynamic changes in SARS-CoV-2 RNA level and distribution among these specimens. We observed that CRISPR-RT-PCR results consistently detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA in all sample types at most time points post-infection, and that SARS-CoV-2 infection dose and administration route did not markedly affect the CRISPR-RT-PCR signal detected in most specimen types. However, consistent RT-qPCR positive results were restricted to nasal, pharyngeal, and rectal swab samples, and tended to decrease earlier than CRISPR-RT-PCR results, reflecting lower assay sensitivity. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detectable in both pulmonary and extrapulmonary specimens from early to late infection by CRISPR-RT-PCR, albeit with different abundance and kinetics, with SARS-CoV-2 RNA increases detected in plasma and rectal samples trailing those detected in upper respiratory tract samples. CRISPR-RT-PCR assays for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in non-respiratory specimens may thus permit direct diagnosis of suspected COVID-19 cases missed by RT-PCR, while tracking SARS-CoV-2 RNA in minimally invasive alternate specimens may better evaluate the progression and resolution of SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Humans , Primates , RNA, Viral/analysis , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests
9.
iScience ; 25(1): 103670, 2022 Jan 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654625

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the etiologic agent of COVID-19, uses ACE2 as a cell entry receptor. Soluble ACE2 has been shown to have neutralizing antiviral activity but has a short half-life and no active transport mechanism from the circulation into the alveolar spaces of the lung. To overcome this, we constructed an ACE2-human IgG1 fusion protein with mutations in the catalytic domain of ACE2. A mutation in the catalytic domain of ACE2, MDR504, significantly increased binding to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, as well as to a spike variant, in vitro with more potent viral neutralization in plaque assays. Parental administration of the protein showed stable serum concentrations with excellent bioavailability in the epithelial lining fluid of the lung, and ameliorated lung SARS-CoV-2 infection in vivo. These data support that the MDR504 hACE2-Fc is an excellent candidate for treatment or prophylaxis of COVID-19 and potentially emerging variants.

10.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(12): e1010162, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595940

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 disease, has killed over five million people worldwide as of December 2021 with infections rising again due to the emergence of highly transmissible variants. Animal models that faithfully recapitulate human disease are critical for assessing SARS-CoV-2 viral and immune dynamics, for understanding mechanisms of disease, and for testing vaccines and therapeutics. Pigtail macaques (PTM, Macaca nemestrina) demonstrate a rapid and severe disease course when infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), including the development of severe cardiovascular symptoms that are pertinent to COVID-19 manifestations in humans. We thus proposed this species may likewise exhibit severe COVID-19 disease upon infection with SARS-CoV-2. Here, we extensively studied a cohort of SARS-CoV-2-infected PTM euthanized either 6- or 21-days after respiratory viral challenge. We show that PTM demonstrate largely mild-to-moderate COVID-19 disease. Pulmonary infiltrates were dominated by T cells, including CD4+ T cells that upregulate CD8 and express cytotoxic molecules, as well as virus-targeting T cells that were predominantly CD4+. We also noted increases in inflammatory and coagulation markers in blood, pulmonary pathologic lesions, and the development of neutralizing antibodies. Together, our data demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 infection of PTM recapitulates important features of COVID-19 and reveals new immune and viral dynamics and thus may serve as a useful animal model for studying pathogenesis and testing vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Models, Animal , Macaca nemestrina , Monkey Diseases/virology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Male , Monkey Diseases/immunology , Monkey Diseases/pathology , Monkey Diseases/physiopathology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
11.
Viruses ; 14(1)2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580395

ABSTRACT

In recent months, several SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged that enhance transmissibility and escape host humoral immunity. Hence, the tracking of viral evolutionary trajectories is clearly of great importance. Little is known about SARS-CoV-2 evolution in nonhuman primate models used to test vaccines and therapies and to model human disease. Viral RNA was sequenced from rectal swabs from Chlorocebus aethiops (African green monkeys) after experimental respiratory SARS-CoV-2 infection. Two distinct patterns of viral evolution were identified that were shared between all collected samples. First, mutations in the furin cleavage site that were initially present in the virus as a consequence of VeroE6 cell culture adaptation were not detected in viral RNA recovered in rectal swabs, confirming the necessity of this motif for viral infection in vivo. Three amino acid changes were also identified; ORF 1a S2103F, and spike D215G and H655Y, which were detected in rectal swabs from all sampled animals. These findings are demonstrative of intra-host SARS-CoV-2 evolution and may identify a host-adapted variant of SARS-CoV-2 that would be useful in future primate models involving SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Evolution, Molecular , Mutation , Polyproteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Rectum/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/genetics
12.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 753444, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555153

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory borne pathogenic beta coronavirus that is the source of a worldwide pandemic and the cause of multiple pathologies in man. The rhesus macaque model of COVID-19 was utilized to test the added benefit of combinatory parenteral administration of two high-affinity anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs; C144-LS and C135-LS) expressly developed to neutralize the virus and modified to extend their pharmacokinetics. After completion of kinetics study of mAbs in the primate, combination treatment was administered prophylactically to mucosal viral challenge. Results showed near complete virus neutralization evidenced by no measurable titer in mucosal tissue swabs, muting of cytokine/chemokine response, and lack of any discernable pathologic sequalae. Blocking infection was a dose-related effect, cohorts receiving lower doses (6, 2 mg/kg) resulted in low grade viral infection in various mucosal sites compared to that of a fully protective dose (20 mg/kg). A subset of animals within this cohort whose infectious challenge was delayed 75 days later after mAb administration were still protected from disease. Results indicate this combination mAb effectively blocks development of COVID-19 in the rhesus disease model and accelerates the prospect of clinical studies with this effective antibody combination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Envelope Proteins , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Membrane Glycoproteins , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
13.
Front Immunol ; 12: 754642, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485059

ABSTRACT

Understanding SARS-CoV-2 immune pathology is critical for the development of effective vaccines and treatments. Here, we employed unbiased serial whole-blood transcriptome profiling by weighted gene network correlation analysis (WGCNA) at pre-specified timepoints of infection to understand SARS-CoV-2-related immune alterations in a cohort of rhesus macaques (RMs) and African green monkeys (AGMs) presenting with varying degrees of pulmonary pathology. We found that the bulk of transcriptional changes occurred at day 3 post-infection and normalized to pre-infection levels by 3 weeks. There was evidence of coordination of transcriptional networks in blood (defined by WGCNA) and the nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 burden as well as the absolute monocyte count. Pathway analysis of gene modules revealed prominent regulation of type I and type II interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) in both RMs and AGMs, with the latter species exhibiting a greater breadth of ISG upregulation. Notably, pathways relating to neutrophil degranulation were enriched in blood of SARS-CoV-2 infected AGMs, but not RMs. Our results elude to hallmark similarities as well as differences in the RM and AGM acute response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and may help guide the selection of particular NHP species in modeling aspects of COVID-19 disease outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cell Degranulation , Neutrophils/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/blood , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Macaca mulatta , Neutrophils/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Species Specificity
14.
Theranostics ; 11(16): 8076-8091, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337802

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Pulmonary vascular endotheliitis, perivascular inflammation, and immune activation are observed in COVID-19 patients. While the initial SARS-CoV-2 infection mainly infects lung epithelial cells, whether it also infects endothelial cells (ECs) and to what extent SARS-CoV-2-mediated pulmonary vascular endotheliitis is associated with immune activation remain to be determined. Methods: To address these questions, we studied SARS-CoV-2-infected K18-hACE2 (K18) mice, a severe COVID-19 mouse model, as well as lung samples from SARS-CoV-2-infected nonhuman primates (NHP) and patient deceased from COVID-19. We used immunostaining, RNAscope, and electron microscopy to analyze the organs collected from animals and patient. We conducted bulk and single cell (sc) RNA-seq analyses, and cytokine profiling of lungs or serum of the severe COVID-19 mice. Results: We show that SARS-CoV-2-infected K18 mice develop severe COVID-19, including progressive body weight loss and fatality at 7 days, severe lung interstitial inflammation, edema, hemorrhage, perivascular inflammation, systemic lymphocytopenia, and eosinopenia. Body weight loss in K18 mice correlated with the severity of pneumonia, but not with brain infection. We also observed endothelial activation and dysfunction in pulmonary vessels evidenced by the up-regulation of VCAM1 and ICAM1 and the downregulation of VE-cadherin. We detected SARS-CoV-2 in capillary ECs, activation and adhesion of platelets and immune cells to the vascular wall of the alveolar septa, and increased complement deposition in the lungs, in both COVID-19-murine and NHP models. We also revealed that pathways of coagulation, complement, K-ras signaling, and genes of ICAM1 and VCAM1 related to EC dysfunction and injury were upregulated, and were associated with massive immune activation in the lung and circulation. Conclusion: Together, our results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 causes endotheliitis via both infection and infection-mediated immune activation, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Lung/pathology , Mice , Mice, Inbred Strains , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
15.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 12324, 2021 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265975

ABSTRACT

The pro-homeostatic lipid mediators elovanoids (ELVs) attenuate cell binding and entrance of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) as well as of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in human primary alveoli cells in culture. We uncovered that very-long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid precursors (VLC-PUFA, n-3) activate ELV biosynthesis in lung cells. Both ELVs and their precursors reduce the binding to RBD. ELVs downregulate angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and enhance the expression of a set of protective proteins hindering cell surface virus binding and upregulating defensive proteins against lung damage. In addition, ELVs and their precursors decreased the signal of spike (S) protein found in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells, suggesting that the lipids curb viral infection. These findings open avenues for potential preventive and disease-modifiable therapeutic approaches for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
16.
Nature ; 594(7862): 253-258, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192479

ABSTRACT

The development of a portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate the global population remains an urgent public health imperative1. Here we demonstrate the capacity of a subunit vaccine, comprising the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain displayed on an I53-50 protein nanoparticle scaffold (hereafter designated RBD-NP), to stimulate robust and durable neutralizing-antibody responses and protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques. We evaluated five adjuvants including Essai O/W 1849101, a squalene-in-water emulsion; AS03, an α-tocopherol-containing oil-in-water emulsion; AS37, a Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist adsorbed to alum; CpG1018-alum, a TLR9 agonist formulated in alum; and alum. RBD-NP immunization with AS03, CpG1018-alum, AS37 or alum induced substantial neutralizing-antibody and CD4 T cell responses, and conferred protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the pharynges, nares and bronchoalveolar lavage. The neutralizing-antibody response to live virus was maintained up to 180 days after vaccination with RBD-NP in AS03 (RBD-NP-AS03), and correlated with protection from infection. RBD-NP immunization cross-neutralized the B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant efficiently but showed a reduced response against the B.1.351 variant. RBD-NP-AS03 produced a 4.5-fold reduction in neutralization of B.1.351 whereas the group immunized with RBD-NP-AS37 produced a 16-fold reduction in neutralization of B.1.351, suggesting differences in the breadth of the neutralizing-antibody response induced by these adjuvants. Furthermore, RBD-NP-AS03 was as immunogenic as a prefusion-stabilized spike immunogen (HexaPro) with AS03 adjuvant. These data highlight the efficacy of the adjuvanted RBD-NP vaccine in promoting protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and have led to phase I/II clinical trials of this vaccine (NCT04742738 and NCT04750343).


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Alum Compounds , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Disease Models, Animal , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Male , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Squalene
17.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(8)2021 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1075324

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 transmits by droplets generated from surfaces of airway mucus during processes of respiration within hosts infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. We studied respiratory droplet generation and exhalation in human and nonhuman primate subjects with and without COVID-19 infection to explore whether SARS-CoV-2 infection, and other changes in physiological state, translate into observable evolution of numbers and sizes of exhaled respiratory droplets in healthy and diseased subjects. In our observational cohort study of the exhaled breath particles of 194 healthy human subjects, and in our experimental infection study of eight nonhuman primates infected, by aerosol, with SARS-CoV-2, we found that exhaled aerosol particles vary between subjects by three orders of magnitude, with exhaled respiratory droplet number increasing with degree of COVID-19 infection and elevated BMI-years. We observed that 18% of human subjects (35) accounted for 80% of the exhaled bioaerosol of the group (194), reflecting a superspreader distribution of bioaerosol analogous to a classical 20:80 superspreader of infection distribution. These findings suggest that quantitative assessment and control of exhaled aerosol may be critical to slowing the airborne spread of COVID-19 in the absence of an effective and widely disseminated vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/transmission , Exhalation/physiology , Obesity/physiopathology , Aerosols , Age Factors , Animals , Body Mass Index , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Humans , Mucus/chemistry , Mucus/virology , Obesity/epidemiology , Obesity/virology , Particle Size , Primates , Respiratory System/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load
18.
Am J Pathol ; 191(2): 274-282, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064773

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) induces a wide range of disease severity, ranging from asymptomatic infection to a life-threating illness, particularly in the elderly population and individuals with comorbid conditions. Among individuals with serious coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) disease, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a common and often fatal presentation. Animal models of SARS-CoV-2 infection that manifest severe disease are needed to investigate the pathogenesis of COVID-19-induced ARDS and evaluate therapeutic strategies. We report two cases of ARDS in two aged African green monkeys (AGMs) infected with SARS-CoV-2 that had pathological lesions and disease similar to severe COVID-19 in humans. We also report a comparatively mild COVID-19 phenotype characterized by minor clinical, radiographic, and histopathologic changes in the two surviving, aged AGMs and four rhesus macaques (RMs) infected with SARS-CoV-2. Notable increases in circulating cytokines were observed in three of four infected, aged AGMs but not in infected RMs. All the AGMs had increased levels of plasma IL-6 compared with baseline, a predictive marker and presumptive therapeutic target in humans infected with SARS-CoV-2. Together, our results indicate that both RMs and AGMs are capable of modeling SARS-CoV-2 infection and suggest that aged AGMs may be useful for modeling severe disease manifestations, including ARDS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aging , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops/virology , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Lung/pathology , Macaca mulatta/virology , Viral Load/methods
19.
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol ; 64(1): 79-88, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1004249

ABSTRACT

Preclinical mouse models that recapitulate some characteristics of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will facilitate focused study of pathogenesis and virus-host responses. Human agniotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) serves as an entry receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to infect people via binding to envelope spike proteins. Herein we report development and characterization of a rapidly deployable COVID-19 mouse model. C57BL/6J (B6) mice expressing hACE2 in the lung were transduced by oropharyngeal delivery of the recombinant human adenovirus type 5 that expresses hACE2 (Ad5-hACE2). Mice were infected with SARS-CoV-2 at Day 4 after transduction and developed interstitial pneumonia associated with perivascular inflammation, accompanied by significantly higher viral load in lungs at Days 3, 6, and 12 after infection compared with Ad5-empty control group. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in pneumocytes in alveolar septa. Transcriptomic analysis of lungs demonstrated that the infected Ad5-hACE mice had a significant increase in IFN-dependent chemokines Cxcl9 and Cxcl10, and genes associated with effector T-cell populations including Cd3 g, Cd8a, and Gzmb. Pathway analysis showed that several Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways were enriched in the data set, including cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, the chemokine signaling pathway, the NOD-like receptor signaling pathway, the measles pathway, and the IL-17 signaling pathway. This response is correlative to clinical response in lungs of patients with COVID-19. These results demonstrate that expression of hACE2 via adenovirus delivery system sensitized the mouse to SARS-CoV-2 infection and resulted in the development of a mild COVID-19 phenotype, highlighting the immune and inflammatory host responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. This rapidly deployable COVID-19 mouse model is useful for preclinical and pathogenesis studies of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Alveolar Epithelial Cells/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Gene Expression , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction/immunology , Adenoviridae/genetics , Adenoviridae/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/biosynthesis , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction/genetics , Transduction, Genetic
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