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1.
Curr Opin HIV AIDS ; 18(4): 191-208, 2023 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237492

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Passive administration of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) is being evaluated as a therapeutic approach to prevent or treat HIV infections. However, a number of challenges face the widespread implementation of passive transfer for HIV. To reduce the need of recurrent administrations of bNAbs, gene-based delivery approaches have been developed which overcome the limitations of passive transfer. RECENT FINDINGS: The use of DNA and mRNA for the delivery of bNAbs has made significant progress. DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies (DMAbs) have shown great promise in animal models of disease and the underlying DNA-based technology is now being tested in vaccine trials for a variety of indications. The COVID-19 pandemic greatly accelerated the development of mRNA-based technology to induce protective immunity. These advances are now being successfully applied to the delivery of monoclonal antibodies using mRNA in animal models. Delivery of bNAbs using viral vectors, primarily adeno-associated virus (AAV), has shown great promise in preclinical animal models and more recently in human studies. Most recently, advances in genome editing techniques have led to engineering of monoclonal antibody expression from B cells. These efforts aim to turn B cells into a source of evolving antibodies that can improve through repeated exposure to the respective antigen. SUMMARY: The use of these different platforms for antibody delivery has been demonstrated across a wide range of animal models and disease indications, including HIV. Although each approach has unique strengths and weaknesses, additional advances in efficiency of gene delivery and reduced immunogenicity will be necessary to drive widespread implementation of these technologies. Considering the mounting clinical evidence of the potential of bNAbs for HIV treatment and prevention, overcoming the remaining technical challenges for gene-based bNAb delivery represents a relatively straightforward path towards practical interventions against HIV infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , HIV-1 , Animals , Humans , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , HIV Antibodies , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Pandemics , HIV-1/genetics , COVID-19/therapy , Antibodies, Monoclonal/genetics
2.
Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol ; 15(4): e1880, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2284722

ABSTRACT

Nanoparticle vaccines are a diverse category of vaccines for the prophylaxis or treatment of various diseases. Several strategies have been employed for their optimization, especially to enhance vaccine immunogenicity and generate potent B-cell responses. Two major modalities utilized for particulate antigen vaccines include using nanoscale structures for antigen delivery and nanoparticles that are themselves vaccines due to antigen display or scaffolding-the latter of which we will define as "nanovaccines." Multimeric antigen display has a variety of immunological benefits compared to monomeric vaccines mediated through potentiating antigen-presenting cell presentation and enhancing antigen-specific B-cell responses through B-cell activation. The majority of nanovaccine assembly is done in vitro using cell lines. However, in vivo assembly of scaffolded vaccines potentiated using nucleic acids or viral vectors is a burgeoning modality of nanovaccine delivery. Several advantages to in vivo assembly exist, including lower costs of production, fewer production barriers, as well as more rapid development of novel vaccine candidates for emerging diseases such as SARS-CoV-2. This review will characterize the methods for de novo assembly of nanovaccines in the host using methods of gene delivery including nucleic acid and viral vectored vaccines. This article is categorized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Infectious Disease Biology-Inspired Nanomaterials > Nucleic Acid-Based Structures Biology-Inspired Nanomaterials > Protein and Virus-Based Structures Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens , Adaptive Immunity , Nanoparticles/chemistry
3.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1138609, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2260212

ABSTRACT

Despite numerous clinically available vaccines and therapeutics, aged patients remain at increased risk for COVID-19 morbidity. Furthermore, various patient populations, including the aged can have suboptimal responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccine antigens. Here, we characterized vaccine-induced responses to SARS-CoV-2 synthetic DNA vaccine antigens in aged mice. Aged mice exhibited altered cellular responses, including decreased IFNγ secretion and increased TNFα and IL-4 secretion suggestive of TH2-skewed responses. Aged mice exhibited decreased total binding and neutralizing antibodies in their serum but significantly increased TH2-type antigen-specific IgG1 antibody compared to their young counterparts. Strategies to enhance vaccine-induced immune responses are important, especially in aged patient populations. We observed that co-immunization with plasmid-encoded adenosine deaminase (pADA)enhanced immune responses in young animals. Ageing is associated with decreases in ADA function and expression. Here, we report that co-immunization with pADA enhanced IFNγ secretion while decreasing TNFα and IL-4 secretion. pADA expanded the breadth and affinity SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific antibodies while supporting TH1-type humoral responses in aged mice. scRNAseq analysis of aged lymph nodes revealed that pADA co-immunization supported a TH1 gene profile and decreased FoxP3 gene expression. Upon challenge, pADA co-immunization decreased viral loads in aged mice. These data support the use of mice as a model for age-associated decreased vaccine immunogenicity and infection-mediated morbidity and mortality in the context of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and provide support for the use of adenosine deaminase as a molecular adjuvant in immune-challenged populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Animals , Mice , COVID-19 Vaccines , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha , Interleukin-4 , Adenosine Deaminase , Immunization , Antibodies, Viral , Disease Models, Animal
4.
mBio ; 14(1): e0339322, 2023 02 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2223575

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection alters the immunological profiles of natural killer (NK) cells. However, whether NK antiviral functions are impaired during severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and what host factors modulate these functions remain unclear. We found that NK cells from hospitalized COVID-19 patients degranulate less against SARS-CoV-2 antigen-expressing cells (in direct cytolytic and antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity [ADCC] assays) than NK cells from mild COVID-19 patients or negative controls. The lower NK degranulation was associated with higher plasma levels of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen. Phenotypic and functional analyses showed that NK cells expressing the glyco-immune checkpoint Siglec-9 elicited higher ADCC than Siglec-9- NK cells. Consistently, Siglec-9+ NK cells exhibit an activated and mature phenotype with higher expression of CD16 (FcγRIII; mediator of ADCC), CD57 (maturation marker), and NKG2C (activating receptor), along with lower expression of the inhibitory receptor NKG2A, than Siglec-9- CD56dim NK cells. These data are consistent with the concept that the NK cell subpopulation expressing Siglec-9 is highly activated and cytotoxic. However, the Siglec-9 molecule itself is an inhibitory receptor that restrains NK cytotoxicity during cancer and other viral infections. Indeed, blocking Siglec-9 significantly enhanced the ADCC-mediated NK degranulation and lysis of SARS-CoV-2-antigen-positive target cells. These data support a model in which the Siglec-9+ CD56dim NK subpopulation is cytotoxic even while it is restrained by the inhibitory effects of Siglec-9. Alleviating the Siglec-9-mediated restriction on NK cytotoxicity may further improve NK immune surveillance and presents an opportunity to develop novel immunotherapeutic tools against SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. IMPORTANCE One mechanism that cancer cells use to evade natural killer cell immune surveillance is by expressing high levels of sialoglycans, which bind to Siglec-9, a glyco-immune checkpoint molecule on NK cells. This binding inhibits NK cell cytotoxicity. Several viruses, such as hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV, also use a similar mechanism to evade NK surveillance. We found that NK cells from SARS-CoV-2-hospitalized patients are less able to function against cells expressing SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein than NK cells from SARS-CoV-2 mild patients or uninfected controls. We also found that the cytotoxicity of the Siglec-9+ NK subpopulation is indeed restrained by the inhibitory nature of the Siglec-9 molecule and that blocking Siglec-9 can enhance the ability of NK cells to target cells expressing SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Our results suggest that a targetable glyco-immune checkpoint mechanism, Siglec-9/sialoglycan interaction, may contribute to the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to evade NK immune surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Antibodies/metabolism , Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity , COVID-19/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural , Sialic Acid Binding Immunoglobulin-like Lectins/metabolism
5.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 5886, 2022 10 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2050378

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibody therapy has played an important role against SARS-CoV-2. Strategies to deliver functional, antibody-based therapeutics with improved in vivo durability are needed to supplement current efforts and reach underserved populations. Here, we compare recombinant mAbs COV2-2196 and COV2-2130, which compromise clinical cocktail Tixagevimab/Cilgavimab, with optimized nucleic acid-launched forms. Functional profiling of in vivo-expressed, DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies (DMAbs) demonstrated similar specificity, broad antiviral potency and equivalent protective efficacy in multiple animal challenge models of SARS-CoV-2 prophylaxis compared to protein delivery. In PK studies, DNA-delivery drove significant serum antibody titers that were better maintained compared to protein administration. Furthermore, cryo-EM studies performed on serum-derived DMAbs provide the first high-resolution visualization of in vivo-launched antibodies, revealing new interactions that may promote cooperative binding to trimeric antigen and broad activity against VoC including Omicron lineages. These data support the further study of DMAb technology in the development and delivery of valuable biologics.


Subject(s)
Biological Products , COVID-19 , Nucleic Acids , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , DNA , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
6.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(7): 100693, 2022 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1946857

ABSTRACT

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has claimed more than 5 million lives. Emerging variants of concern (VOCs) continually challenge viral control. Directing vaccine-induced humoral and cell-mediated responses to mucosal surfaces may enhance vaccine efficacy. Here we investigate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of optimized synthetic DNA plasmids encoding wild-type severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein (pS) co-formulated with the plasmid-encoded mucosal chemokine cutaneous T cell-attracting chemokine (pCTACK; CCL27). pCTACK-co-immunized animals exhibit increased spike-specific antibodies at the mucosal surface and increased frequencies of interferon gamma (IFNγ)+ CD8+ T cells in the respiratory mucosa. pCTACK co-immunization confers 100% protection from heterologous Delta VOC challenge. This study shows that mucosal chemokine adjuvants can direct vaccine-induced responses to specific immunological sites and have significant effects on heterologous challenge. Further study of this unique chemokine-adjuvanted vaccine approach in the context of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is likely important.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Chemokines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Vaccines/genetics
7.
J Immunol ; 209(1): 118-127, 2022 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911834

ABSTRACT

Although severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines have demonstrated strong immunogenicity and protection against severe disease, concerns about the duration and breadth of these responses remain. In this study, we show that codelivery of plasmid-encoded adenosine deaminase-1 (pADA) with SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein DNA enhances immune memory and durability in vivo. Coimmunized mice displayed increased spike-specific IgG of higher affinity and neutralizing capacity as compared with plasmid-encoded spike-only-immunized animals. Importantly, pADA significantly improved the longevity of these enhanced responses in vivo. This coincided with durable increases in frequencies of plasmablasts, receptor-binding domain-specific memory B cells, and SARS-CoV-2-specific T follicular helper cells. Increased spike-specific T cell polyfunctionality was also observed. Notably, animals coimmunized with pADA had significantly reduced viral loads compared with their nonadjuvanted counterparts in a SARS-CoV-2 infection model. These data suggest that pADA enhances immune memory and durability and supports further translational studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Adenosine Deaminase/genetics , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Vaccine ; 40(21): 2960-2969, 2022 05 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773836

ABSTRACT

The enhanced transmissibility and immune evasion associated with emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants demands the development of next-generation vaccines capable of inducing superior protection amid a shifting pandemic landscape. Since a portion of the global population harbors some level of immunity from vaccines based on the original Wuhan-Hu-1 SARS-CoV-2 sequence or natural infection, an important question going forward is whether this immunity can be boosted by next-generation vaccines that target emerging variants while simultaneously maintaining long-term protection against existing strains. Here, we evaluated the immunogenicity of INO-4800, our synthetic DNA vaccine candidate for COVID-19 currently in clinical evaluation, and INO-4802, a next-generation DNA vaccine designed to broadly target emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, as booster vaccines in nonhuman primates. Rhesus macaques primed over one year prior with the first-generation INO-4800 vaccine were boosted with either INO-4800 or INO-4802 in homologous or heterologous prime-boost regimens. Both boosting schedules led to an expansion of T cells and antibody responses which were characterized by improved neutralizing and ACE2 blocking activity across wild-type SARS-CoV-2 as well as multiple variants of concern. These data illustrate the durability of immunity following vaccination with INO-4800 and additionally support the use of either INO-4800 or INO-4802 in prime-boost regimens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, DNA , Viral Vaccines , Animals , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
9.
Cell Rep ; 38(5): 110318, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654152

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines may target epitopes that reduce durability or increase the potential for escape from vaccine-induced immunity. Using synthetic vaccinology, we have developed rationally immune-focused SARS-CoV-2 Spike-based vaccines. Glycans can be employed to alter antibody responses to infection and vaccines. Utilizing computational modeling and in vitro screening, we have incorporated glycans into the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and assessed antigenic profiles. We demonstrate that glycan-coated RBD immunogens elicit stronger neutralizing antibodies and have engineered seven multivalent configurations. Advanced DNA delivery of engineered nanoparticle vaccines rapidly elicits potent neutralizing antibodies in guinea pigs, hamsters, and multiple mouse models, including human ACE2 and human antibody repertoire transgenics. RBD nanoparticles induce high levels of cross-neutralizing antibodies against variants of concern with durable titers beyond 6 months. Single, low-dose immunization protects against a lethal SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Single-dose coronavirus vaccines via DNA-launched nanoparticles provide a platform for rapid clinical translation of potent and durable coronavirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Nanoparticles/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cricetinae , Epitopes , Guinea Pigs , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Nucleic Acid-Based Vaccines/administration & dosage , Nucleic Acid-Based Vaccines/chemistry , Nucleic Acid-Based Vaccines/genetics , Nucleic Acid-Based Vaccines/immunology , Polysaccharides/chemistry , Polysaccharides/genetics , Polysaccharides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccine Potency
10.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 18(1): 2016201, 2022 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642249

ABSTRACT

Genetic optimization of Nucleic Acid immunogens is important for potentially improving their immune potency. A COVID-19 DNA vaccine is in phase III clinical trial which is based on a promising highly developable technology platform. Here, we show optimization in mice generating a pGX-9501 DNA vaccine encoding full-length spike protein, which results in induction of potent humoral and cellular immune responses, including neutralizing antibodies, that block hACE2-RBD binding of live CoV2 virus in vitro. Optimization resulted in improved induction of cellular immunity by pGX-9501 as demonstrated by increased IFN-γ expression in both CD8+ and CD4 + T cells and this was associated with more robust antiviral CTL responses compared to unoptimized constructs. Vaccination with pGX-9501 induced subsequent protection against virus challenge in a rigorous hACE2 transgenic mouse model. Overall, pGX-9501 is a promising optimized COVID-19 DNA vaccine candidate inducing humoral and cellular immunity contributing to the vaccine's protective effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Base Sequence , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
11.
Front Med Technol ; 2: 571030, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639212

ABSTRACT

DNA vaccines are considered as a third-generation vaccination approach in which antigenic materials are encoded as DNA plasmids for direct in vivo production to elicit adaptive immunity. As compared to other platforms, DNA vaccination is considered to have a strong safety profile, as DNA plasmids neither replicate nor elicit vector-directed immune responses in hosts. While earlier work found the immune responses induced by DNA vaccines to be sub-optimal in larger mammals and humans, recent developments in key synthetic DNA and electroporation delivery technologies have now allowed DNA vaccines to elicit significantly more potent and consistent responses in several clinical studies. This paper will review findings from the recent clinical and preclinical studies on DNA vaccines targeting emerging infectious diseases (EID) including COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the technological advancements pivotal to the improved responses-including the use of the advanced delivery technology, DNA-encoded cytokine/mucosal adjuvants, and innovative concepts in immunogen design. With continuous advancement over the past three decades, the DNA approach is now poised to develop vaccines against COVID-19, as well as other EIDs.

13.
Mol Ther ; 30(5): 1966-1978, 2022 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510414

ABSTRACT

To advance a novel concept of debulking virus in the oral cavity, the primary site of viral replication, virus-trapping proteins CTB-ACE2 were expressed in chloroplasts and clinical-grade plant material was developed to meet FDA requirements. Chewing gum (2 g) containing plant cells expressed CTB-ACE2 up to 17.2 mg ACE2/g dry weight (11.7% leaf protein), have physical characteristics and taste/flavor like conventional gums, and no protein was lost during gum compression. CTB-ACE2 gum efficiently (>95%) inhibited entry of lentivirus spike or VSV-spike pseudovirus into Vero/CHO cells when quantified by luciferase or red fluorescence. Incubation of CTB-ACE2 microparticles reduced SARS-CoV-2 virus count in COVID-19 swab/saliva samples by >95% when evaluated by microbubbles (femtomolar concentration) or qPCR, demonstrating both virus trapping and blocking of cellular entry. COVID-19 saliva samples showed low or undetectable ACE2 activity when compared with healthy individuals (2,582 versus 50,126 ΔRFU; 27 versus 225 enzyme units), confirming greater susceptibility of infected patients for viral entry. CTB-ACE2 activity was completely inhibited by pre-incubation with SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain, offering an explanation for reduced saliva ACE2 activity among COVID-19 patients. Chewing gum with virus-trapping proteins offers a general affordable strategy to protect patients from most oral virus re-infections through debulking or minimizing transmission to others.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Chewing Gum , Cricetinae , Cricetulus , Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Virus Internalization
14.
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 121, 2021 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1469970

ABSTRACT

Global surveillance has identified emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) associated with broadened host specificity, pathogenicity, and immune evasion to vaccine-induced immunity. Here we compared humoral and cellular responses against SARS-CoV-2 VOC in subjects immunized with the DNA vaccine, INO-4800. INO-4800 vaccination induced neutralizing antibodies against all variants tested, with reduced levels detected against B.1.351. IFNγ T cell responses were fully maintained against all variants tested.

15.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(10): 100420, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450242

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has had a dramatic global impact on public health and social and economic infrastructures. Here, we assess the immunogenicity and anamnestic protective efficacy in rhesus macaques of an intradermal (i.d.)-delivered SARS-CoV-2 spike DNA vaccine, INO-4800, currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Vaccination with INO-4800 induced T cell responses and induced spike antigen and RBD binding antibodies with ADCP and ADCD activity. Sera from the animals neutralized both the D614 and G614 SARS-CoV-2 pseudotype viruses. Several months after vaccination, animals were challenged with SARS-CoV-2 resulting in rapid recall of anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein T cell and neutralizing antibody responses. These responses were associated with lower viral loads in the lung. These studies support the immune impact of INO-4800 for inducing both humoral and cellular arms of the adaptive immune system, which are likely important for providing durable protection against COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Lung/virology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Female , Injections, Intradermal , Macaca mulatta , Male , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/therapeutic use , Viral Load
16.
ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci ; 4(4): 1349-1361, 2021 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358338

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the newly emerged human coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Due to the highly contagious nature of SARS-CoV-2, it has infected more than 137 million individuals and caused more than 2.9 million deaths globally as of April 13, 2021. There is an urgent need to develop effective novel therapeutic strategies to treat or prevent this infection. Toward this goal, we focused on the development of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (SARS-CoV-2 Spike) present on the surface of virus particles as well as virus-infected cells. We isolated anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike mAbs from animals immunized with a DNA vaccine. We then selected a highly potent set of mAbs against SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and evaluated each candidate for their expression, target binding affinity, and neutralization potential using complementary ACE2-blocking and pseudovirus neutralization assays. We identified a total of 10 antibodies, which specifically and strongly bound to SARS-CoV-2 Spike, blocked the receptor binding domain (RBD) and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) interaction, and neutralized SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, the glycomic profile of the antibodies suggested that they have high Fc-mediated effector functions. These antibodies should be further investigated for elucidating the neutralizing epitopes on Spike for the design of next-generation vaccines and for their potential in diagnostic as well as therapeutic utilities against SARS-CoV-2.

17.
iScience ; 24(7): 102699, 2021 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260763

ABSTRACT

More than 100 million people have been infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Common laboratory mice are not susceptible to wild-type SARS-CoV-2 infection, challenging the development and testing of effective interventions. Here, we describe the development and testing of a mouse model for SARS-CoV-2 infection based on transduction of the respiratory tract of laboratory mice with an adeno-associated virus vector (AAV6) expressing human ACE-2 (AAV6.2FF-hACE2). We validated this model using a previously described synthetic DNA vaccine plasmid, INO-4800 (pS). Intranasal instillation of AAV6.2FF-hACE2 resulted in robust hACE2 expression in the respiratory tract. pS induced robust cellular and humoral responses. Vaccinated animals were challenged with 105 TCID50 SARS-CoV-2 (hCoV-19/Canada/ON-VIDO-01/2020) and euthanized four days post-challenge to assess viral load. One immunization resulted in 50% protection and two immunizations were completely protective. Overall, the AAV6.2FF-hACE2 mouse transduction model represents an easily accessible, genetically diverse mouse model for wild-type SARS-CoV-2 infection and preclinical evaluation of potential interventions.

18.
JCI Insight ; 6(10)2021 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197299

ABSTRACT

Emerging coronaviruses from zoonotic reservoirs, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), have been associated with human-to-human transmission and significant morbidity and mortality. Here, we study both intradermal and intramuscular 2-dose delivery regimens of an advanced synthetic DNA vaccine candidate encoding a full-length MERS-CoV spike (S) protein, which induced potent binding and neutralizing antibodies as well as cellular immune responses in rhesus macaques. In a MERS-CoV challenge, all immunized rhesus macaques exhibited reduced clinical symptoms, lowered viral lung load, and decreased severity of pathological signs of disease compared with controls. Intradermal vaccination was dose sparing and more effective in this model at protecting animals from disease. The data support the further study of this vaccine for preventing MERS-CoV infection and transmission, including investigation of such vaccines and simplified delivery routes against emerging coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/therapeutic use , Viral Vaccines/therapeutic use , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Injections, Intradermal , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/genetics
19.
mBio ; 12(2)2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195825

ABSTRACT

Beyond neutralization, antibodies binding to their Fc receptors elicit several innate immune functions including antibody-dependent complement deposition (ADCD), antibody-dependent cell-mediated phagocytosis (ADCP), and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). These functions are beneficial, as they contribute to pathogen clearance; however, they also can induce inflammation. We tested the possibility that qualitative differences in SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody-mediated innate immune functions contribute to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity. We found that anti-S1 and anti-RBD antibodies from hospitalized COVID-19 patients elicited higher ADCD but lower ADCP compared to antibodies from nonhospitalized COVID-19 patients. Consistently, higher ADCD was associated with higher systemic inflammation, whereas higher ADCP was associated with lower systemic inflammation during COVID-19. Our study points to qualitative, differential features of anti-SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies as potential contributors to COVID-19 severity. Understanding these qualitative features of natural and vaccine-induced antibodies will be important in achieving optimal efficacy and safety of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and/or COVID-19 therapeutics.IMPORTANCE A state of hyperinflammation and increased complement activation has been associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms that contribute to this phenomenon remain mostly unknown. Our data point to a qualitative, rather than quantitative, difference in SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies' ability to elicit Fc-mediated innate immune functions as a potential contributor to COVID-19 severity and associated inflammation. These data highlight the need for further studies to understand these qualitative features and their potential contribution to COVID-19 severity. This understanding could be essential to develop antibody-based COVID-19 therapeutics and SARS-CoV-2 vaccines with an optimal balance between efficacy and safety.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Innate , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Specificity , Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Complement Activation , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/immunology , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/etiology , Inflammation/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Phagocytosis , Receptors, Fc/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
20.
EClinicalMedicine ; 31: 100689, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-987565

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 is of high urgency. Here the safety and immunogenicity induced by a DNA vaccine (INO-4800) targeting the full length spike antigen of SARS-CoV-2 are described. METHODS: INO-4800 was evaluated in two groups of 20 participants, receiving either 1.0 mg or 2.0 mg of vaccine intradermally followed by CELLECTRA® EP at 0 and 4 weeks. Thirty-nine subjects completed both doses; one subject in the 2.0 mg group discontinued trial participation prior to receiving the second dose. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04336410. FINDINGS: The median age was 34.5, 55% (22/40) were men and 82.5% (33/40) white. Through week 8, only 6 related Grade 1 adverse events in 5 subjects were observed. None of these increased in frequency with the second administration. No serious adverse events were reported. All 38 subjects evaluable for immunogenicity had cellular and/or humoral immune responses following the second dose of INO-4800. By week 6, 95% (36/38) of the participants seroconverted based on their responses by generating binding (ELISA) and/or neutralizing antibodies (PRNT IC50), with responder geometric mean binding antibody titers of 655.5 [95% CI (255.6, 1681.0)] and 994.2 [95% CI (395.3, 2500.3)] in the 1.0 mg and 2.0 mg groups, respectively. For neutralizing antibody, 78% (14/18) and 84% (16/19) generated a response with corresponding geometric mean titers of 102.3 [95% CI (37.4, 280.3)] and 63.5 [95% CI (39.6, 101.8)], in the respective groups. By week 8, 74% (14/19) and 100% (19/19) of subjects generated T cell responses by IFN-É£ ELISpot assay with the median SFU per 106 PBMC of 46 [95% CI (21.1, 142.2)] and 71 [95% CI (32.2, 194.4)] in the 1.0 mg and 2.0 mg groups, respectively. Flow cytometry demonstrated a T cell response, dominated by CD8+ T cells co-producing IFN-É£ and TNF-α, without increase in IL-4. INTERPRETATION: INO-4800 demonstrated excellent safety and tolerability and was immunogenic in 100% (38/38) of the vaccinated subjects by eliciting either or both humoral or cellular immune responses. FUNDING: Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

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