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1.
Sci Transl Med ; 14(657): eabl9605, 2022 Aug 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1986328

ABSTRACT

To prepare for future coronavirus (CoV) pandemics, it is desirable to generate vaccines capable of eliciting broadly neutralizing antibody responses to CoVs. Here, we show that immunization of macaques with SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein with a two-shot protocol generated potent serum receptor binding domain cross-neutralizing antibody responses to both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1. Furthermore, responses were equally effective against most SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) and some were highly effective against Omicron. This result contrasts with human infection or many two-shot vaccination protocols where responses were typically more SARS-CoV-2 specific and where VOCs were less well neutralized. Structural studies showed that cloned macaque neutralizing antibodies, particularly using a given heavy chain germline gene, recognized a relatively conserved region proximal to the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 receptor binding site (RBS), whereas many frequently elicited human neutralizing antibodies targeted more variable epitopes overlapping the RBS. B cell repertoire differences between humans and macaques appeared to influence the vaccine response. The macaque neutralizing antibodies identified a pan-SARS-related virus epitope region less well targeted by human antibodies that could be exploited in rational vaccine design.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , Epitopes , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
2.
Sci Transl Med ; 14(654): eabn1413, 2022 Jul 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1949951

ABSTRACT

To combat the HIV epidemic and emerging threats such as SARS-CoV-2, immunization strategies are needed that elicit protection at mucosal portals of pathogen entry. Immunization directly through airway surfaces is effective in driving mucosal immunity, but poor vaccine uptake across the mucus and epithelial lining is a limitation. The major blood protein albumin is constitutively transcytosed bidirectionally across the airway epithelium through interactions with neonatal Fc receptors (FcRn). Exploiting this biology, here, we demonstrate a strategy of "albumin hitchhiking" to promote mucosal immunity using an intranasal vaccine consisting of protein immunogens modified with an amphiphilic albumin-binding polymer-lipid tail, forming amph-proteins. Amph-proteins persisted in the nasal mucosa of mice and nonhuman primates and exhibited increased uptake into the tissue in an FcRn-dependent manner, leading to enhanced germinal center responses in nasal-associated lymphoid tissue. Intranasal immunization with amph-conjugated HIV Env gp120 or SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) proteins elicited 100- to 1000-fold higher antigen-specific IgG and IgA titers in the serum, upper and lower respiratory mucosa, and distal genitourinary mucosae of mice compared to unmodified protein. Amph-RBD immunization induced high titers of SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies in serum, nasal washes, and bronchoalveolar lavage. Furthermore, intranasal amph-protein immunization in rhesus macaques elicited 10-fold higher antigen-specific IgG and IgA responses in the serum and nasal mucosa compared to unmodified protein, supporting the translational potential of this approach. These results suggest that using amph-protein vaccines to deliver antigen across mucosal epithelia is a promising strategy to promote mucosal immunity against HIV, SARS-CoV-2, and other infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Administration, Intranasal , Albumins , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Immunity, Mucosal , Immunoglobulin A , Immunoglobulin G , Lipids , Macaca mulatta , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
3.
Biomed Pharmacother ; 148: 112753, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707727

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a lethal disease caused by the pandemic SARS-CoV-2, which continues to be a public health threat. COVID-19 is principally a respiratory disease and is often associated with sputum retention and cytokine storm, for which there are limited therapeutic options. In this regard, we evaluated the use of BromAc®, a combination of Bromelain and Acetylcysteine (NAC). Both drugs present mucolytic effect and have been studied to treat COVID-19. Therefore, we sought to examine the mucolytic and anti-inflammatory effect of BromAc® in tracheal aspirate samples from critically ill COVID-19 patients requiring mechanical ventilation. METHOD: Tracheal aspirate samples from COVID-19 patients were collected following next of kin consent and mucolysis, rheometry and cytokine analysis using Luminex kit was performed. RESULTS: BromAc® displayed a robust mucolytic effect in a dose dependent manner on COVID-19 sputum ex vivo. BromAc® showed anti-inflammatory activity, reducing the action of cytokine storm, chemokines including MIP-1alpha, CXCL8, MIP-1b, MCP-1 and IP-10, and regulatory cytokines IL-5, IL-10, IL-13 IL-1Ra and total reduction for IL-9 compared to NAC alone and control. BromAc® acted on IL-6, demonstrating a reduction in G-CSF and VEGF-D at concentrations of 125 and 250 µg. CONCLUSION: These results indicate robust mucolytic and anti-inflammatory effect of BromAc® ex vivo in tracheal aspirates from critically ill COVID-19 patients, indicating its potential to be further assessed as pharmacological treatment for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Acetylcysteine/pharmacology , Bromelains/pharmacology , COVID-19/pathology , Chemokines/drug effects , Cytokines/drug effects , Sputum/cytology , Acetylcysteine/administration & dosage , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/administration & dosage , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Bromelains/administration & dosage , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Down-Regulation , Drug Combinations , Expectorants/pharmacology , Female , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Respiration, Artificial , Rheology , SARS-CoV-2 , Trachea/pathology , Young Adult
6.
Sci Immunol ; 6(66): eabf1152, 2021 Dec 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583226

ABSTRACT

Saponins are potent and safe vaccine adjuvants, but their mechanisms of action remain incompletely understood. Here, we explored the properties of several saponin formulations, including immune-stimulatory complexes (ISCOMs) formed by the self-assembly of saponin and phospholipids in the absence or presence of the Toll-like receptor 4 agonist monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA). We found that MPLA self-assembles with saponins to form particles physically resembling ISCOMs, which we termed saponin/MPLA nanoparticles (SMNP). Saponin-containing adjuvants exhibited distinctive mechanisms of action, altering lymph flow in a mast cell­dependent manner and promoting antigen entry into draining lymph nodes. SMNP was particularly effective, exhibiting even greater potency than the compositionally related adjuvant AS01B in mice, and primed robust germinal center B cell, TFH, and HIV tier 2 neutralizing antibodies in nonhuman primates. Together, these findings shed new light on mechanisms by which saponin adjuvants act to promote the immune response and suggest that SMNP may be a promising adjuvant in the setting of HIV, SARS-CoV-2, and other pathogens.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity/drug effects , Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Lymph/drug effects , Saponins/pharmacology , Toll-Like Receptors/agonists , Animals , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Female , Lymph/physiology , Macaca mulatta , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Nanoparticles , Rats , Rats, Wistar
7.
Sci Adv ; 7(50): eabj6538, 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559847

ABSTRACT

There is a need for additional rapidly scalable, low-cost vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to achieve global vaccination. Aluminum hydroxide (alum) adjuvant is the most widely available vaccine adjuvant but elicits modest humoral responses. We hypothesized that phosphate-mediated coanchoring of the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 together with molecular adjuvants on alum particles could potentiate humoral immunity by promoting extended vaccine kinetics and codelivery of vaccine components to lymph nodes. Modification of RBD immunogens with phosphoserine (pSer) peptides enabled efficient alum binding and slowed antigen clearance, leading to notable increases in germinal center responses and neutralizing antibody titers in mice. Adding phosphate-containing CpG or saponin adjuvants to pSer-RBD:alum immunizations synergistically enhanced vaccine immunogenicity in mice and rhesus macaques, inducing neutralizing responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants. Thus, phosphate-mediated coanchoring of RBD and molecular adjuvants to alum is an effective strategy to enhance the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccines.

8.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(38)2021 09 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397979

ABSTRACT

Global containment of COVID-19 still requires accessible and affordable vaccines for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Recently approved vaccines provide needed interventions, albeit at prices that may limit their global access. Subunit vaccines based on recombinant proteins are suited for large-volume microbial manufacturing to yield billions of doses annually, minimizing their manufacturing cost. These types of vaccines are well-established, proven interventions with multiple safe and efficacious commercial examples. Many vaccine candidates of this type for SARS-CoV-2 rely on sequences containing the receptor-binding domain (RBD), which mediates viral entry to cells via ACE2. Here we report an engineered sequence variant of RBD that exhibits high-yield manufacturability, high-affinity binding to ACE2, and enhanced immunogenicity after a single dose in mice compared to the Wuhan-Hu-1 variant used in current vaccines. Antibodies raised against the engineered protein exhibited heterotypic binding to the RBD from two recently reported SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (501Y.V1/V2). Presentation of the engineered RBD on a designed virus-like particle (VLP) also reduced weight loss in hamsters upon viral challenge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Protein Engineering/methods , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral , Binding Sites , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/economics , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Saccharomycetales/metabolism , Vaccines, Subunit
9.
Sci Adv ; 7(31)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388435

ABSTRACT

Rationally designed protein subunit vaccines are being developed for a variety of viruses including influenza, RSV, SARS-CoV-2, and HIV. These vaccines are based on stabilized versions of the primary targets of neutralizing antibodies on the viral surface, namely, viral fusion glycoproteins. While these immunogens display the epitopes of potent neutralizing antibodies, they also present epitopes recognized by non-neutralizing or weakly neutralizing ("off-target") antibodies. Using our recently developed electron microscopy polyclonal epitope mapping approach, we have uncovered a phenomenon wherein off-target antibodies elicited by HIV trimer subunit vaccines cause the otherwise highly stabilized trimeric proteins to degrade into cognate protomers. Further, we show that these protomers expose an expanded suite of off-target epitopes, normally occluded inside the prefusion conformation of trimer, that subsequently elicit further off-target antibody responses. Our study provides critical insights for further improvement of HIV subunit trimer vaccines for future rounds of the iterative vaccine design process.


Subject(s)
AIDS Vaccines/immunology , HIV Antibodies/chemistry , HIV Infections/immunology , HIV-1/chemistry , env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/chemistry , AIDS Vaccines/chemistry , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , Female , HIV Antibodies/immunology , HIV-1/immunology , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Rabbits , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/immunology
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