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1.
Vet Pathol ; 59(4): 648-660, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1832989

ABSTRACT

There is a need to standardize pathologic endpoints in animal models of SARS-CoV-2 infection to help benchmark study quality, improve cross-institutional comparison of data, and assess therapeutic efficacy so that potential drugs and vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 can rapidly advance. The Syrian hamster model is a tractable small animal model for COVID-19 that models clinical disease in humans. Using the hamster model, the authors used traditional pathologic assessment with quantitative image analysis to assess disease outcomes in hamsters administered polyclonal immune sera from previously challenged rhesus macaques. The authors then used quantitative image analysis to assess pathologic endpoints across studies performed at different institutions using different tissue processing protocols. The authors detail pathological features of SARS-CoV-2 infection longitudinally and use immunohistochemistry to quantify myeloid cells and T lymphocyte infiltrates during SARS-CoV-2 infection. High-dose immune sera protected hamsters from weight loss and diminished viral replication in tissues and reduced lung lesions. Cumulative pathology scoring correlated with weight loss and was robust in distinguishing IgG efficacy. In formalin-infused lungs, quantitative measurement of percent area affected also correlated with weight loss but was less robust in non-formalin-infused lungs. Longitudinal immunohistochemical assessment of interstitial macrophage infiltrates showed that peak infiltration corresponded to weight loss, yet quantitative assessment of macrophage, neutrophil, and CD3+ T lymphocyte numbers did not distinguish IgG treatment effects. Here, the authors show that quantitative image analysis was a useful adjunct tool for assessing SARS-CoV-2 treatment outcomes in the hamster model.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Rodent Diseases , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Immune Sera , Immunoglobulin G , Lung/pathology , Macaca mulatta , Mesocricetus , Rodent Diseases/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Weight Loss
2.
Med (N Y) ; 3(4): 262-268.e4, 2022 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1829236

ABSTRACT

Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has proven to be highly transmissible and has outcompeted the Delta variant in many regions of the world. Early reports have also suggested that Omicron may result in less severe clinical disease in humans. Here, we show that Omicron is less pathogenic than prior SARS-CoV-2 variants in Syrian golden hamsters. Methods: Hamsters were inoculated with either SARS-CoV-2 Omicron or other SARS-CoV-2 variants. Animals were followed for weight loss, and upper and lower respiratory tract tissues were assessed for viral loads and histopathology. Findings: Infection of hamsters with the SARS-CoV-2 WA1/2020, Alpha, Beta, or Delta strains led to 4%-10% weight loss by day 4 and 10%-17% weight loss by day 6. In contrast, infection of hamsters with two different Omicron challenge stocks did not result in any detectable weight loss, even at high challenge doses. Omicron infection led to substantial viral replication in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts but demonstrated lower viral loads in lung parenchyma and reduced pulmonary pathology compared with WA1/2020 infection. Conclusions: These data suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant may result in robust upper respiratory tract infection, but less severe lower respiratory tract clinical disease, compared with prior SARS-CoV-2 variants. Funding: Funding for this study was provided by NIH grant CA260476, the Massachusetts Consortium for Pathogen Readiness, the Ragon Institute, and the Musk Foundation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cricetinae , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virulence , Weight Loss
3.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(4): e1009990, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785209

ABSTRACT

Syrian golden hamsters exhibit features of severe disease after SARS-CoV-2 WA1/2020 challenge and are therefore useful models of COVID-19 pathogenesis and prevention with vaccines. Recent studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 infection stimulates type I interferon, myeloid, and inflammatory signatures similar to human disease and that weight loss can be prevented with vaccines. However, the impact of vaccination on transcriptional programs associated with COVID-19 pathogenesis and protective adaptive immune responses is unknown. Here we show that SARS-CoV-2 WA1/2020 challenge in hamsters stimulates myeloid and inflammatory programs as well as signatures of complement and thrombosis associated with human COVID-19. Notably, immunization with Ad26.COV2.S, an adenovirus serotype 26 vector (Ad26)-based vaccine expressing a stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, prevents the upregulation of these pathways, such that the mRNA expression profiles of vaccinated hamsters are comparable to uninfected animals. Using proteomics profiling, we validated these findings in rhesus macaques challenged with SARS-CoV-2 WA1/2020 or SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351. Finally, we show that Ad26.COV2.S vaccination induces T and B cell signatures that correlate with binding and neutralizing antibody responses weeks following vaccination. These data provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of Ad26.COV2.S protection against severe COVID-19 in animal models.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Ad26COVS1 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Humans , Inflammation , Macaca mulatta , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Up-Regulation
4.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(618): eabj3789, 2021 Nov 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494936

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern have emerged and may pose a threat to both the efficacy of vaccines based on the original WA1/2020 strain and the natural immunity induced by infection with earlier SARS-CoV-2 variants. We investigated how mutations in the spike protein of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, which have been shown to partially evade neutralizing antibodies, affect natural and vaccine-induced immunity. We adapted a Syrian hamster model of moderate to severe clinical disease for two variant strains of SARS-CoV-2: B.1.1.7 (alpha variant) and B.1.351 (beta variant). We then assessed the protective efficacy conferred by either natural immunity from WA1/2020 infection or by vaccination with a single dose of the adenovirus serotype 26 vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S. Primary infection with the WA1/2020 strain provided potent protection against weight loss and viral replication in lungs after rechallenge with WA1/2020, B.1.1.7, or B.1.351. Ad26.COV2.S induced cross-reactive binding and neutralizing antibodies that were reduced against the B.1.351 strain compared with WA1/2020 but nevertheless still provided robust protection against B.1.351 challenge, as measured by weight loss and pathology scoring in the lungs. Together, these data support hamsters as a preclinical model to study protection against emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 conferred by prior infection or vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Humans , Vaccination
5.
Cell ; 184(13): 3467-3473.e11, 2021 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252548

ABSTRACT

We previously reported that a single immunization with an adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26)-vector-based vaccine expressing an optimized SARS-CoV-2 spike (Ad26.COV2.S) protected rhesus macaques against SARS-CoV-2 challenge. To evaluate reduced doses of Ad26.COV2.S, 30 rhesus macaques were immunized once with 1 × 1011, 5 × 1010, 1.125 × 1010, or 2 × 109 viral particles (vp) Ad26.COV2.S or sham and were challenged with SARS-CoV-2. Vaccine doses as low as 2 × 109 vp provided robust protection in bronchoalveolar lavage, whereas doses of 1.125 × 1010 vp were required for protection in nasal swabs. Activated memory B cells and binding or neutralizing antibody titers following vaccination correlated with protective efficacy. At suboptimal vaccine doses, viral breakthrough was observed but did not show enhancement of disease. These data demonstrate that a single immunization with relatively low dose of Ad26.COV2.S effectively protected against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in rhesus macaques, although a higher vaccine dose may be required for protection in the upper respiratory tract.


Subject(s)
Adenoviridae/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Female , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Macaca mulatta , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods
6.
Nat Med ; 26(11): 1694-1700, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-744383

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans is often a clinically mild illness, but some individuals develop severe pneumonia, respiratory failure and death1-4. Studies of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in hamsters5-7 and nonhuman primates8-10 have generally reported mild clinical disease, and preclinical SARS-CoV-2 vaccine studies have demonstrated reduction of viral replication in the upper and lower respiratory tracts in nonhuman primates11-13. Here we show that high-dose intranasal SARS-CoV-2 infection in hamsters results in severe clinical disease, including high levels of virus replication in tissues, extensive pneumonia, weight loss and mortality in a subset of animals. A single immunization with an adenovirus serotype 26 vector-based vaccine expressing a stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein elicited binding and neutralizing antibody responses and protected against SARS-CoV-2-induced weight loss, pneumonia and mortality. These data demonstrate vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 clinical disease. This model should prove useful for preclinical studies of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, therapeutics and pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
Adenoviridae/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adenoviridae/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Genetic Vectors , Humans , Male , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/therapeutic use , Viral Load
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