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Front Immunol ; 12: 743924, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441113


Antigen-specific vaccines developed for the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate a remarkable achievement and are currently being used in high income countries with much success. However, new SARS-CoV-2 variants are threatening this success via mutations that lessen the efficacy of antigen-specific antibodies. One simple approach to assisting with this issue is focusing on strategies that build on the non-specific protection afforded by the innate immune response. The BCG vaccine has been shown to provide broad protection beyond tuberculosis disease, including against respiratory viruses, and ongoing studies are investigating its efficacy as a tool against SARS-CoV-2. Gamma delta (γδ) T cells, particularly the Vδ2 subtype, undergo rapid expansion after BCG vaccination due to MHC-independent mechanisms. Consequently, γδ T cells can produce diverse defenses against virally infected cells, including direct cytotoxicity, death receptor ligands, and pro-inflammatory cytokines. They can also assist in stimulating the adaptive immune system. BCG is affordable, commonplace and non-specific, and therefore could be a useful tool to initiate innate protection against new SARS-CoV-2 variants. However, considerations must also be made to BCG vaccine supply and the prioritization of countries where it is most needed to combat tuberculosis first and foremost.

BCG Vaccine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/drug effects , Animals , BCG Vaccine/economics , BCG Vaccine/pharmacology , Costs and Cost Analysis , Humans , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Vaccination/economics
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 915, 2021 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327224


Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are urgently required, but early development of vaccines against SARS-CoV-1 resulted in enhanced disease after vaccination. Careful assessment of this phenomena is warranted for vaccine development against SARS CoV-2. Here we report detailed immune profiling after ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) and subsequent high dose challenge in two animal models of SARS-CoV-2 mediated disease. We demonstrate in rhesus macaques the lung pathology caused by SARS-CoV-2 mediated pneumonia is reduced by prior vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 which induced neutralising antibody responses after a single intramuscular administration. In a second animal model, ferrets, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 reduced both virus shedding and lung pathology. Antibody titre were boosted by a second dose. Data from these challenge models on the absence of enhanced disease and the detailed immune profiling, support the continued clinical evaluation of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Ferrets , Macaca mulatta
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1260, 2021 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101645


A novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has been identified as the causative agent of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Animal models, and in particular non-human primates, are essential to understand the pathogenesis of emerging diseases and to assess the safety and efficacy of novel vaccines and therapeutics. Here, we show that SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the upper and lower respiratory tract and causes pulmonary lesions in both rhesus and cynomolgus macaques. Immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 are also similar in both species and equivalent to those reported in milder infections and convalescent human patients. This finding is reiterated by our transcriptional analysis of respiratory samples revealing the global response to infection. We describe a new method for lung histopathology scoring that will provide a metric to enable clearer decision making for this key endpoint. In contrast to prior publications, in which rhesus are accepted to be the preferred study species, we provide convincing evidence that both macaque species authentically represent mild to moderate forms of COVID-19 observed in the majority of the human population and both species should be used to evaluate the safety and efficacy of interventions against SARS-CoV-2. Importantly, accessing cynomolgus macaques will greatly alleviate the pressures on current rhesus stocks.

COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Immunity, Cellular/physiology , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Macaca fascicularis , Macaca mulatta , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity