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1.
NPJ Vaccines ; 7(1): 88, 2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1967607

ABSTRACT

mRNA vaccines can be developed and produced quickly, making them prime candidates for immediate outbreak responses. Furthermore, clinical trials have demonstrated rapid protection following mRNA vaccination. Thus, we sought to investigate how quickly mRNA vaccines elicit antibody responses compared to other vaccine modalities. We first compared the immune kinetics of mRNA and DNA vaccines expressing SARS-CoV-2 spike in mice. We observed rapid induction of antigen-specific binding and neutralizing antibodies by day 5 following mRNA (4 µg/mouse), but not DNA (50 µg/mouse), immunization. Comparing innate responses hours post immunization, the mRNA vaccine induced increased levels of IL-5, IL-6, and MCP-1 cytokines which maybe promoting humoral responses downstream. We then evaluated the immune kinetics of an HIV-1 mRNA vaccine in comparison to DNA, protein, and rhesus adenovirus 52 (RhAd52) vaccines of the same HIV-1 envelope antigen in mice. Again, induction of envelope-specific antibodies was observed by day 5 following mRNA vaccination, whereas antibodies were detected by day 7-14 following DNA, protein, and RhAd52 vaccination. Thus, eliciting rapid humoral immunity may be a unique and advantageous property of mRNA vaccines for controlling infectious disease outbreaks.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335701

ABSTRACT

Combining optimized spike (S) protein-encoding mRNA vaccines to target multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants could improve COVID-19 control. We compared monovalent and bivalent mRNA vaccines encoding B.1.351 (Beta) and/or B.1.617.2 (Delta) SARS-CoV-2 S-protein, primarily in a transgenic mouse model and a Wistar rat model. The low-dose bivalent mRNA vaccine contained half the mRNA of each respective monovalent vaccine, but induced comparable neutralizing antibody titres, enrichment of lung-resident memory CD8 + T cells, specific CD4 + and CD8 + responses, and fully protected transgenic mice from SARS-CoV-2 lethality. The bivalent mRNA vaccine significantly reduced viral replication in both Beta- and Delta-challenged mice. Sera from bivalent mRNA vaccine immunized Wistar rats also contained neutralizing antibodies against the B.1.1.529 (Omicron BA.1) variant. These data suggest that low-dose and fit-for-purpose multivalent mRNA vaccines encoding distinct S-proteins is a feasible approach for increasing the potency of vaccines against emerging and co-circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants.

3.
Nature ; 601(7893): 410-414, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521758

ABSTRACT

The CVnCoV (CureVac) mRNA vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was recently evaluated in a phase 2b/3 efficacy trial in humans1. CV2CoV is a second-generation mRNA vaccine containing non-modified nucleosides but with optimized non-coding regions and enhanced antigen expression. Here we report the results of a head-to-head comparison of the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of CVnCoV and CV2CoV in non-human primates. We immunized 18 cynomolgus macaques with two doses of 12 µg lipid nanoparticle-formulated CVnCoV or CV2CoV or with sham (n = 6 per group). Compared with CVnCoV, CV2CoV induced substantially higher titres of binding and neutralizing antibodies, memory B cell responses and T cell responses as well as more potent neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the Delta variant. Moreover, CV2CoV was found to be comparably immunogenic to the BNT162b2 (Pfizer) vaccine in macaques. Although CVnCoV provided partial protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, CV2CoV afforded more robust protection with markedly lower viral loads in the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Binding and neutralizing antibody titres were correlated with protective efficacy. These data demonstrate that optimization of non-coding regions can greatly improve the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a non-modified mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in non-human primates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Nucleosides/chemistry , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , /immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/standards , Female , Macaca fascicularis/immunology , Male , Nucleosides/genetics , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/standards , Viral Load , /standards
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4048, 2021 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290662

ABSTRACT

The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic necessitates the fast development of vaccines. Recently, viral mutants termed variants of concern (VOC) which may escape host immunity have emerged. The efficacy of spike encoding mRNA vaccines (CVnCoV and CV2CoV) against the ancestral strain and the VOC B.1.351 was tested in a K18-hACE2 transgenic mouse model. Naive mice and mice immunized with a formalin-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 preparation were used as controls. mRNA-immunized mice develop elevated SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific antibody and neutralization titers which are readily detectable, but significantly reduced against VOC B.1.351. The mRNA vaccines fully protect from disease and mortality caused by either viral strain. SARS-CoV-2 remains undetected in swabs, lung, or brain in these groups. Despite lower neutralizing antibody titers compared to the ancestral strain BavPat1, CVnCoV and CV2CoV show complete disease protection against the novel VOC B.1.351 in our studies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
5.
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 57, 2021 Apr 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1189227

ABSTRACT

mRNA technologies have recently proven clinical efficacy against coronavirus disease 2019 and are among the most promising technologies to address the current pandemic. Here, we show preclinical data for our clinical candidate CVnCoV, a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA vaccine that encodes full-length, pre-fusion stabilised severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein. In contrast to previously published approaches, CVnCoV is exclusively composed of naturally occurring nucleotides. Immunisation with CVnCoV induced strong humoral responses with high titres of virus-neutralising antibodies and robust T-cell responses. CVnCoV vaccination protected hamsters from challenge with wild-type SARS-CoV-2, demonstrated by the absence of viral replication in the lungs. Hamsters vaccinated with a suboptimal dose of CVnCoV leading to breakthrough viral replication exhibited no evidence of vaccine-enhanced disease. Overall, data presented here provide evidence that CVnCoV represents a potent and safe vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2.

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