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Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1782008


In the light of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, we have developed a porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV) model for in depth mechanistic evaluation of the pathogenesis, virology and immune responses of this important family of viruses. Pigs are a large animal with similar physiology and immunology to humans and are a natural host for PRCV. Four PRCV strains were investigated and shown to induce different degrees of lung pathology. Importantly, although all four strains replicated equally well in porcine cell lines in vitro and in the upper respiratory tract in vivo, PRCV strains causing more severe lung pathology were also able to replicate in ex vivo tracheal organ cultures as well as in vivo in the trachea and lung. The time course of infection of PRCV 135, which caused the most severe pulmonary pathology, was investigated. Virus was shed from the upper respiratory tract until day 10 post infection, with infection of the respiratory mucosa, as well as olfactory and sustentacular cells, providing an excellent model to study upper respiratory tract disease in addition to the commonly known lower respiratory tract disease from PRCV. Infected animals made antibody and T cell responses that cross reacted with the four PRCV strains and Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus. The antibody response was reproduced in vitro in organ cultures. Comparison of mechanisms of infection and immune control in pigs infected with PRCVs of differing pathogenicity with human data from SARS-CoV-2 infection and from our in vitro organ cultures, will enable key events in coronavirus infection and disease pathogenesis to be identified.

Nat Commun ; 12(1): 542, 2021 01 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1044339


There is need for effective and affordable vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 to tackle the ongoing pandemic. In this study, we describe a protein nanoparticle vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine is based on the display of coronavirus spike glycoprotein receptor-binding domain (RBD) on a synthetic virus-like particle (VLP) platform, SpyCatcher003-mi3, using SpyTag/SpyCatcher technology. Low doses of RBD-SpyVLP in a prime-boost regimen induce a strong neutralising antibody response in mice and pigs that is superior to convalescent human sera. We evaluate antibody quality using ACE2 blocking and neutralisation of cell infection by pseudovirus or wild-type SARS-CoV-2. Using competition assays with a monoclonal antibody panel, we show that RBD-SpyVLP induces a polyclonal antibody response that recognises key epitopes on the RBD, reducing the likelihood of selecting neutralisation-escape mutants. Moreover, RBD-SpyVLP is thermostable and can be lyophilised without losing immunogenicity, to facilitate global distribution and reduce cold-chain dependence. The data suggests that RBD-SpyVLP provides strong potential to address clinical and logistic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Blocking/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Protein Multimerization , Swine
NPJ Vaccines ; 5(1): 69, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-689622


Clinical development of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, a replication-deficient simian adenoviral vector expressing the full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein was initiated in April 2020 following non-human primate studies using a single immunisation. Here, we compared the immunogenicity of one or two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in both mice and pigs. Whilst a single dose induced antigen-specific antibody and T cells responses, a booster immunisation enhanced antibody responses, particularly in pigs, with a significant increase in SARS-CoV-2 neutralising titres.