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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.

J Exp Med ; 218(7)2021 07 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1205513


Safe and effective coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccines are urgently needed to control the ongoing pandemic. While single-dose vaccine regimens would provide multiple advantages, two doses may improve the magnitude and durability of immunity and protective efficacy. We assessed one- and two-dose regimens of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine candidate in adult and aged nonhuman primates (NHPs). A two-dose Ad26.COV2.S regimen induced higher peak binding and neutralizing antibody responses compared with a single dose. In one-dose regimens, neutralizing antibody responses were stable for at least 14 wk, providing an early indication of durability. Ad26.COV2.S induced humoral immunity and T helper cell (Th cell) 1-skewed cellular responses in aged NHPs that were comparable to those in adult animals. Aged Ad26.COV2.S-vaccinated animals challenged 3 mo after dose 1 with a SARS-CoV-2 spike G614 variant showed near complete lower and substantial upper respiratory tract protection for both regimens. Neutralization of variants of concern by NHP sera was reduced for B.1.351 lineages while maintained for the B.1.1.7 lineage independent of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine regimen.

Adenoviridae/immunology , Aging/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Body Temperature , Bronchoalveolar Lavage , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Female , Immunity, Humoral , Kinetics , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Macaca mulatta , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Treatment Outcome , Vaccination , Viral Load
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 39, 2021 Mar 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142440


Previously we have shown that a single dose of recombinant adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vaccine expressing a prefusion stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen (Ad26.COV2.S) is immunogenic and provides protection in Syrian hamster and non-human primate SARS-CoV-2 infection models. Here, we investigated the immunogenicity, protective efficacy, and potential for vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease (VAERD) mediated by Ad26.COV2.S in a moderate disease Syrian hamster challenge model, using the currently most prevalent G614 spike SARS-CoV-2 variant. Vaccine doses of 1 × 109 and 1 × 1010 VP elicited substantial neutralizing antibodies titers and completely protected over 80% of SARS-CoV-2 inoculated Syrian hamsters from lung infection and pneumonia but not upper respiratory tract infection. A second vaccine dose further increased neutralizing antibody titers that was associated with decreased infectious viral load in the upper respiratory tract after SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Suboptimal non-protective immune responses elicited by low-dose A26.COV2.S vaccination did not exacerbate respiratory disease in SARS-CoV-2-inoculated Syrian hamsters with breakthrough infection. In addition, dosing down the vaccine allowed to establish that binding and neutralizing antibody titers correlate with lower respiratory tract protection probability. Overall, these preclinical data confirm efficacy of a one-dose vaccine regimen with Ad26.COV2.S in this G614 spike SARS-CoV-2 virus variant Syrian hamster model, show the added benefit of a second vaccine dose, and demonstrate that there are no signs of VAERD under conditions of suboptimal immunity.