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JCI Insight ; 6(10)2021 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197299


Emerging coronaviruses from zoonotic reservoirs, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), have been associated with human-to-human transmission and significant morbidity and mortality. Here, we study both intradermal and intramuscular 2-dose delivery regimens of an advanced synthetic DNA vaccine candidate encoding a full-length MERS-CoV spike (S) protein, which induced potent binding and neutralizing antibodies as well as cellular immune responses in rhesus macaques. In a MERS-CoV challenge, all immunized rhesus macaques exhibited reduced clinical symptoms, lowered viral lung load, and decreased severity of pathological signs of disease compared with controls. Intradermal vaccination was dose sparing and more effective in this model at protecting animals from disease. The data support the further study of this vaccine for preventing MERS-CoV infection and transmission, including investigation of such vaccines and simplified delivery routes against emerging coronaviruses.

Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/therapeutic use , Viral Vaccines/therapeutic use , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Injections, Intradermal , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/genetics
Cell Rep Med ; 2(4): 100230, 2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1147272


The deployment of a vaccine that limits transmission and disease likely will be required to end the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We recently described the protective activity of an intranasally administered chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine encoding a pre-fusion stabilized spike (S) protein (ChAd-SARS-CoV-2-S [chimpanzee adenovirus-severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2-S]) in the upper and lower respiratory tracts of mice expressing the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Here, we show the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of this vaccine in non-human primates. Rhesus macaques were immunized with ChAd-Control or ChAd-SARS-CoV-2-S and challenged 1 month later by combined intranasal and intrabronchial routes with SARS-CoV-2. A single intranasal dose of ChAd-SARS-CoV-2-S induces neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses and limits or prevents infection in the upper and lower respiratory tracts after SARS-CoV-2 challenge. As ChAd-SARS-CoV-2-S confers protection in non-human primates, it is a promising candidate for limiting SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in humans.

Nature ; 585(7824): 273-276, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-592386


Effective therapies to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are urgently needed. While many investigational, approved, and repurposed drugs have been suggested as potential treatments, preclinical data from animal models can guide the search for effective treatments by ruling out those that lack efficacy in vivo. Remdesivir (GS-5734) is a nucleotide analogue prodrug with broad antiviral activity1,2 that is currently being investigated in COVID-19 clinical trials and recently received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration3,4. In animal models, remdesivir was effective against infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)2,5,6. In vitro, remdesivir inhibited replication of SARS-CoV-27,8. Here we investigate the efficacy of remdesivir in a rhesus macaque model of SARS-CoV-2 infection9. Unlike vehicle-treated animals, macaques treated with remdesivir did not show signs of respiratory disease; they also showed reduced pulmonary infiltrates on radiographs and reduced virus titres in bronchoalveolar lavages twelve hours after the first dose. Virus shedding from the upper respiratory tract was not reduced by remdesivir treatment. At necropsy, remdesivir-treated animals had lower lung viral loads and reduced lung damage. Thus, treatment with remdesivir initiated early during infection had a clinical benefit in rhesus macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2. Although the rhesus macaque model does not represent the severe disease observed in some patients with COVID-19, our data support the early initiation of remdesivir treatment in patients with COVID-19 to prevent progression to pneumonia.

Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Macaca mulatta/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacokinetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/pharmacokinetics , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Animals , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , DNA Mutational Analysis , Disease Progression , Drug Resistance, Viral , Female , Lung/drug effects , Lung/pathology , Lung/physiopathology , Lung/virology , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Secondary Prevention , Time Factors , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Shedding/drug effects