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1.
Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev ; 25: 215-224, 2022 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740074

ABSTRACT

New platforms are needed for the design of novel prophylactic vaccines and advanced immune therapies. Live-attenuated yellow fever vaccine YF17D serves as a vector for several licensed vaccines and platform for novel candidates. On the basis of YF17D, we developed an exceptionally potent COVID-19 vaccine candidate called YF-S0. However, use of such live RNA viruses raises safety concerns, such as adverse events linked to original YF17D (yellow fever vaccine-associated neurotropic disease [YEL-AND] and yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease [YEL-AVD]). In this study, we investigated the biodistribution and shedding of YF-S0 in hamsters. Likewise, we introduced hamsters deficient in signal transducer and activator of transcription 2 (STAT2) signaling as a new preclinical model of YEL-AND/AVD. Compared with YF17D, YF-S0 showed improved safety with limited dissemination to brain and visceral tissues, absent or low viremia, and no shedding of infectious virus. Considering that yellow fever virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, any inadvertent exposure to the live recombinant vector via mosquito bites is to be excluded. The transmission risk of YF-S0 was hence compared with readily transmitting YF-Asibi strain and non-transmitting YF17D vaccine, with no evidence for productive infection of mosquitoes. The overall favorable safety profile of YF-S0 is expected to translate to other vaccines based on the same YF17D platform.

2.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327091

ABSTRACT

New platforms are urgently needed for the design of novel prophylactic vaccines and advanced immune therapies. Live-attenuated yellow fever vaccine YF17D serves as vector for several licensed vaccines and platform for novel vaccine candidates. Based on YF17D, we developed YF-S0 as exceptionally potent COVID-19 vaccine candidate. However, use of such live RNA virus vaccines raises safety concerns, i.e., adverse events linked to original YF17D (yellow fever vaccine-associated neurotropic;YEL-AND, and viscerotropic disease;YEL-AVD). In this study, we investigated the biodistribution and shedding of YF-S0 in hamsters. Likewise, we introduced hamsters deficient in STAT2 signaling as new preclinical model of YEL-AND/AVD. Compared to parental YF17D, YF-S0 showed an improved safety with limited dissemination to brain and visceral tissues, absent or low viremia, and no shedding of infectious virus. Considering yellow fever virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, any inadvertent exposure to the live recombinant vector via mosquito bites is to be excluded. The transmission risk of YF-S0 was hence evaluated in comparison to readily transmitting YFV-Asibi strain and non-transmitting YF17D vaccine, with no evidence for productive infection of vector mosquitoes. The overall favorable safety profile of YF-S0 is expected to translate to other novel vaccines that are based on the same YF17D platform.

3.
Microorganisms ; 9(5)2021 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244074

ABSTRACT

Favipiravir (T-705) is a broad-spectrum antiviral drug that inhibits RNA viruses after intracellular conversion into its active form, T-705 ribofuranosyl 5'-triphosphate. We previously showed that T-705 is able to significantly inhibit the replication of chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an arbovirus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, in mammalian cells and in mouse models. In contrast, the effect of T-705 on CHIKV infection and replication in the mosquito vector is unknown. Since the antiviral activity of T-705 has been shown to be cell line-dependent, we studied here its antiviral efficacy in Aedes-derived mosquito cells and in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Interestingly, T-705 was devoid of anti-CHIKV activity in mosquito cells, despite being effective against CHIKV in Vero cells. By investigating the metabolic activation profile, we showed that, unlike Vero cells, mosquito cells were not able to convert T-705 into its active form. To explore whether alternative metabolization pathways might exist in vivo, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were infected with CHIKV and administered T-705 via an artificial blood meal. Virus titrations of whole mosquitoes showed that T-705 was not able to reduce CHIKV infection in mosquitoes. Combined, these in vitro and in vivo data indicate that T-705 lacks antiviral activity in mosquitoes due to inadequate metabolic activation in this animal species.

4.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5838, 2020 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933686

ABSTRACT

Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19 has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. In search for key targets of effective therapeutics, robust animal models mimicking COVID-19 in humans are urgently needed. Here, we show that Syrian hamsters, in contrast to mice, are highly permissive to SARS-CoV-2 and develop bronchopneumonia and strong inflammatory responses in the lungs with neutrophil infiltration and edema, further confirmed as consolidations visualized by micro-CT alike in clinical practice. Moreover, we identify an exuberant innate immune response as key player in pathogenesis, in which STAT2 signaling plays a dual role, driving severe lung injury on the one hand, yet restricting systemic virus dissemination on the other. Our results reveal the importance of STAT2-dependent interferon responses in the pathogenesis and virus control during SARS-CoV-2 infection and may help rationalizing new strategies for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , STAT2 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Animals , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Cricetinae , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , STAT2 Transcription Factor/genetics , Virus Replication
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