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NPJ Vaccines ; 7(1): 2, 2022 Jan 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616986


SARS-CoV-2 Spike-specific binding and neutralizing antibodies, elicited either by natural infection or vaccination, have emerged as potential correlates of protection. An important question, however, is whether vaccine-elicited antibodies in humans provide direct, functional protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease. In this study, we explored directly the protective efficacy of human antibodies elicited by Ad26.COV2.S vaccination by adoptive transfer studies. IgG from plasma of Ad26.COV2.S vaccinated individuals was purified and transferred into naïve golden Syrian hamster recipients, followed by intra-nasal challenge of the hamsters with SARS-CoV-2. IgG purified from Ad26.COV2.S-vaccinated individuals provided dose-dependent protection in the recipient hamsters from weight loss following challenge. In contrast, IgG purified from placebo recipients provided no protection in this adoptive transfer model. Attenuation of weight loss correlated with binding and neutralizing antibody titers of the passively transferred IgG. This study suggests that Ad26.COV2.S-elicited antibodies in humans are mechanistically involved in protection against SARS-CoV-2.

Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295818


Here we have employed SynCon ® design technology to construct a DNA vaccine expressing a pan-Spike immunogen (INO-4802) to induce broad immunity across SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC). Compared to WT and VOC-matched vaccines which showed reduced cross-neutralizing activity, INO-4802 induced potent neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses against WT as well as B.1.1.7, P.1, and B.1.351 VOCs in a murine model. In addition, a hamster challenge model demonstrated that INO-4802 conferred superior protection following intranasal B.1.351 challenge. Protection against weight loss associated with WT, B.1.1.7, P.1 and B.1.617.2 challenge was also demonstrated. Vaccinated hamsters showed enhanced humoral responses against VOC in a heterologous WT vaccine prime and INO-4802 boost setting. These results demonstrate the potential of the pan-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, INO-4802 to induce cross-reactive immune responses against emerging VOC as either a standalone vaccine, or as a potential boost for individuals previously immunized with WT-matched vaccines.

Sci Transl Med ; 13(618): eabj3789, 2021 Nov 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494936


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.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Humans , Vaccination