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1.
eBioMedicine ; 83:104240, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2004031

ABSTRACT

Summary Background The live-attenuated yellow fever vaccine YF17D holds great promise as alternative viral vector vaccine platform, showcased by our previously presented potent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine candidate YF-S0. Besides protection from SARS-CoV-2, YF-S0 also induced strong yellow fever virus (YFV)-specific immunity, suggestive for full dual activity. A vaccine concomitantly protecting from SARS-CoV-2 and YFV would be of great benefit for those living in YFV-endemic areas with limited access to current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. However, for broader applicability, pre-existing vector immunity should not impact the potency of such YF17D-vectored vaccines. Methods The immunogenicity and efficacy of YF-S0 against YFV and SARS-CoV-2 in the presence of strong pre-existing YFV immunity were evaluated in mouse and hamster challenge models. Findings Here, we show that a single dose of YF-S0 is sufficient to induce strong humoral and cellular immunity against YFV as well as SARS-CoV-2 in mice and hamsters;resulting in full protection from vigorous YFV challenge in either model;in mice against lethal intracranial YF17D challenge, and in hamsters against viscerotropic infection and liver disease following challenge with highly pathogenic hamster-adapted YFV-Asibi strain. Importantly, strong pre-existing immunity against the YF17D vector did not interfere with subsequent YF-S0 vaccination in mice or hamsters;nor with protection conferred against SARS-CoV-2 strain B1.1.7 (Alpha variant) infection in hamsters. Interpretation Our findings warrant the development of YF-S0 as dual SARS-CoV-2 and YFV vaccine. Contrary to other viral vaccine platforms, use of YF17D does not suffer from pre-existing vector immunity. Funding Stated in the acknowledgments.

2.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2410: 177-192, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575553

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has impacted the health of humanity after the outbreak in Hubei, China in late December 2019. Ever since, it has taken unprecedented proportions and rapidity causing over a million fatal cases. Recently, a robust Syrian golden hamster model recapitulating COVID-19 was developed in search for effective therapeutics and vaccine candidates. However, overt clinical disease symptoms were largely absent despite high levels of virus replication and associated pathology in the respiratory tract. Therefore, we used micro-computed tomography (µCT) to longitudinally visualize lung pathology and to preclinically assess candidate vaccines. µCT proved to be crucial to quantify and noninvasively monitor disease progression, to evaluate candidate vaccine efficacy, and to improve screening efforts by allowing longitudinal data without harming live animals. Here, we give a comprehensive guide on how to use low-dose high-resolution µCT to follow-up SARS-CoV-2-induced disease and test the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine candidates in hamsters. Our approach can likewise be applied for the preclinical assessment of antiviral and anti-inflammatory drug treatments in vivo.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cricetinae , X-Ray Microtomography
3.
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.

4.
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.

5.
EBioMedicine ; 68: 103403, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1245928

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Within one year after its emergence, more than 108 million people acquired SARS-CoV-2 and almost 2·4 million succumbed to COVID-19. New SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoC) are emerging all over the world, with the threat of being more readily transmitted, being more virulent, or escaping naturally acquired and vaccine-induced immunity. At least three major prototypic VoC have been identified, i.e. the United Kingdom, UK (B.1.1.7), South African (B.1.351) and Brazilian (B.1.1.28.1) variants. These are replacing formerly dominant strains and sparking new COVID-19 epidemics. METHODS: We studied the effect of infection with prototypic VoC from both B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants in female Syrian golden hamsters to assess their relative infectivity and virulence in direct comparison to two basal SARS-CoV-2 strains isolated in early 2020. FINDINGS: A very efficient infection of the lower respiratory tract of hamsters by these VoC is observed. In line with clinical evidence from patients infected with these VoC, no major differences in disease outcome were observed as compared to the original strains as was quantified by (i) histological scoring, (ii) micro-computed tomography, and (iii) analysis of the expression profiles of selected antiviral and pro-inflammatory cytokine genes. Noteworthy however, in hamsters infected with VoC B.1.1.7, a particularly strong elevation of proinflammatory cytokines was detected. INTERPRETATION: We established relevant preclinical infection models that will be pivotal to assess the efficacy of current and future vaccine(s) (candidates) as well as therapeutics (small molecules and antibodies) against two important SARS-CoV-2 VoC. FUNDING: Stated in the acknowledgment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/genetics , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Evolution, Molecular , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Gene Expression Regulation , Mesocricetus , Respiratory System/diagnostic imaging , Respiratory System/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virulence , X-Ray Microtomography
6.
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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