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1.
mBio ; 12(5): e0239521, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406605

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein is the main target for neutralizing antibodies. These antibodies can be elicited through immunization or passively transferred as therapeutics in the form of convalescent-phase sera or monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). Potently neutralizing antibodies are expected to confer protection; however, it is unclear whether weakly neutralizing antibodies contribute to protection. Also, their mechanism of action in vivo is incompletely understood. Here, we demonstrate that 2B04, an antibody with an ultrapotent neutralizing activity (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] of 0.04 µg/ml), protects hamsters against SARS-CoV-2 in a prophylactic and therapeutic infection model. Protection is associated with reduced weight loss and viral loads in nasal turbinates and lungs after challenge. MAb 2B04 also blocked aerosol transmission of the virus to naive contacts. We next examined three additional MAbs (2C02, 2C03, and 2E06), recognizing distinct epitopes within the receptor binding domain of spike protein that possess either minimal (2C02 and 2E06, IC50 > 20 µg/ml) or weak (2C03, IC50 of 5 µg/ml) virus neutralization capacity in vitro. Only 2C03 protected Syrian hamsters from weight loss and reduced lung viral load after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Finally, we demonstrated that Fc-Fc receptor interactions were not required for protection when 2B04 and 2C03 were administered prophylactically. These findings inform the mechanism of protection and support the rational development of antibody-mediated protection against SARS-CoV-2 infections. IMPORTANCE The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has resulted in the loss of millions of lives. Safe and effective vaccines are considered the ultimate remedy for the global social and economic disruption caused by the pandemic. However, a thorough understanding of the immune correlates of protection against this virus is lacking. Here, we characterized four different monoclonal antibodies and evaluated their ability to prevent or treat SARS-CoV-2 infection in Syrian hamsters. These antibodies varied in their ability to neutralize the virus in vitro. Prophylactic administration of potent and weakly neutralizing antibodies protected against SARS-CoV-2 infection, and this effect was Fc receptor independent. The potent neutralizing antibody also had therapeutic efficacy and eliminated onward aerosol transmission. In contrast, minimally neutralizing antibodies provided no protection against infection with SARS-CoV-2 in Syrian hamsters. Combined, these studies highlight the significance of weakly neutralizing antibodies in the protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Receptors, Fc/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cricetinae , Male , Mesocricetus , Protein Binding
2.
Nature ; 583(7818): 834-838, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387423

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel coronavirus with high nucleotide identity to SARS-CoV and to SARS-related coronaviruses that have been detected in horseshoe bats, has spread across the world and had a global effect on healthcare systems and economies1,2. A suitable small animal model is needed to support the development of vaccines and therapies. Here we report the pathogenesis and transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 in golden (Syrian) hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). Immunohistochemistry assay demonstrated the presence of viral antigens in nasal mucosa, bronchial epithelial cells and areas of lung consolidation on days 2 and 5 after inoculation with SARS-CoV-2, followed by rapid viral clearance and pneumocyte hyperplasia at 7 days after inoculation. We also found viral antigens in epithelial cells of the duodenum, and detected viral RNA in faeces. Notably, SARS-CoV-2 was transmitted efficiently from inoculated hamsters to naive hamsters by direct contact and via aerosols. Transmission via fomites in soiled cages was not as efficient. Although viral RNA was continuously detected in the nasal washes of inoculated hamsters for 14 days, the communicable period was short and correlated with the detection of infectious virus but not viral RNA. Inoculated and naturally infected hamsters showed apparent weight loss on days 6-7 post-inoculation or post-contact; all hamsters returned to their original weight within 14 days and developed neutralizing antibodies. Our results suggest that features associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in golden hamsters resemble those found in humans with mild SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Aerosols , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , Antigens, Viral/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Bronchi/pathology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Duodenum/virology , Fomites/virology , Housing, Animal , Kidney/virology , Male , Mesocricetus/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Weight Loss
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