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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336957

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Multiple lineages of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) have emerged, and BA.1 and BA.2 have demonstrated substantial escape from neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). BA.2.12.1 has now become dominant in the United States, and BA.4 and BA.5 have become dominant in South Africa. Our data show that BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 substantially escape NAbs induced by both vaccination and infection. Moreover, BA.4/BA.5 NAb titers, and to lesser extent BA.2.12.1 NAb titers, were lower than BA.1 and BA.2 NAb titers, suggesting that the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has continued to evolve with increasing neutralization escape. These findings have important public health implications and provide immunologic context for the current surges with BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 in populations with high rates of vaccination and BA.1/BA.2 infection.

2.
Vet Pathol ; 59(4): 648-660, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1832989

ABSTRACT

There is a need to standardize pathologic endpoints in animal models of SARS-CoV-2 infection to help benchmark study quality, improve cross-institutional comparison of data, and assess therapeutic efficacy so that potential drugs and vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 can rapidly advance. The Syrian hamster model is a tractable small animal model for COVID-19 that models clinical disease in humans. Using the hamster model, the authors used traditional pathologic assessment with quantitative image analysis to assess disease outcomes in hamsters administered polyclonal immune sera from previously challenged rhesus macaques. The authors then used quantitative image analysis to assess pathologic endpoints across studies performed at different institutions using different tissue processing protocols. The authors detail pathological features of SARS-CoV-2 infection longitudinally and use immunohistochemistry to quantify myeloid cells and T lymphocyte infiltrates during SARS-CoV-2 infection. High-dose immune sera protected hamsters from weight loss and diminished viral replication in tissues and reduced lung lesions. Cumulative pathology scoring correlated with weight loss and was robust in distinguishing IgG efficacy. In formalin-infused lungs, quantitative measurement of percent area affected also correlated with weight loss but was less robust in non-formalin-infused lungs. Longitudinal immunohistochemical assessment of interstitial macrophage infiltrates showed that peak infiltration corresponded to weight loss, yet quantitative assessment of macrophage, neutrophil, and CD3+ T lymphocyte numbers did not distinguish IgG treatment effects. Here, the authors show that quantitative image analysis was a useful adjunct tool for assessing SARS-CoV-2 treatment outcomes in the hamster model.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Rodent Diseases , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Immune Sera , Immunoglobulin G , Lung/pathology , Macaca mulatta , Mesocricetus , Rodent Diseases/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Weight Loss
3.
PLoS Biol ; 20(5): e3001609, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822243

ABSTRACT

Despite the rapid creation of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines, the precise correlates of immunity against severe Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) are still unknown. Neutralizing antibodies represent a robust surrogate of protection in early Phase III studies, but vaccines provide protection prior to the evolution of neutralization, vaccines provide protection against variants that evade neutralization, and vaccines continue to provide protection against disease severity in the setting of waning neutralizing titers. Thus, in this study, using an Ad26.CoV2.S dose-down approach in nonhuman primates (NHPs), the role of neutralization, Fc effector function, and T-cell immunity were collectively probed against infection as well as against viral control. While dosing-down minimally impacted neutralizing and binding antibody titers, Fc receptor binding and functional antibody levels were induced in a highly dose-dependent manner. Neutralizing antibody and Fc receptor binding titers, but minimally T cells, were linked to the prevention of transmission. Conversely, Fc receptor binding/function and T cells were linked to antiviral control, with a minimal role for neutralization. These data point to dichotomous roles of neutralization and T-cell function in protection against transmission and disease severity and a continuous role for Fc effector function as a correlate of immunity key to halting and controlling SARS-CoV-2 and emerging variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Primates , Receptors, Fc , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
4.
Sci Transl Med ; 14(641): eabn6150, 2022 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1807307

ABSTRACT

Breakthrough infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants have been reported frequently in vaccinated individuals with waning immunity. In particular, a cluster of over 1000 infections with the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant was identified in a predominantly fully vaccinated population in Provincetown, Massachusetts in July 2021. In this study, vaccinated individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (n = 16) demonstrated substantially higher serum antibody responses than vaccinated individuals who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 (n = 23), including 32-fold higher binding antibody titers and 31-fold higher neutralizing antibody titers against the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant. Vaccinated individuals who tested positive also showed higher mucosal antibody responses in nasal secretions and higher spike protein-specific CD8+ T cell responses in peripheral blood than did vaccinated individuals who tested negative. These data demonstrate that fully vaccinated individuals developed robust anamnestic antibody and T cell responses after infection with the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant. Moreover, these findings suggest that population immunity will likely increase over time by a combination of widespread vaccination and breakthrough infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , Humans
5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-334302

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant evades vaccine-induced immunity. While a booster dose of ancestral mRNA vaccines effectively elicits neutralizing antibodies against variants, its efficacy against Omicron in older adults, who are at the greatest risk of severe disease, is not fully elucidated. Here, we evaluated multiple longitudinal immunization regimens of mRNA BNT162b2 to assess the effects of a booster dose provided >8 months after the primary immunization series across the murine lifespan, including in extremely aged 21-month-old mice. Boosting dramatically enhanced humoral and cell-mediated responses with evidence of Omicron cross-recognition. Furthermore, while younger mice were protected without a booster dose, boosting provided sterilizing immunity against Omicron-induced lung infection in extremely aged mice. Correlational analyses revealed that neutralizing activity against Omicron was strongly associated with protection. Overall, our findings indicate age dependent vaccine efficacy and demonstrate the potential benefit of mRNA booster immunization to protect vulnerable older populations against SARS-CoV-2 variants.

6.
J Infect Dis ; 225(7): 1124-1128, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774388

ABSTRACT

Individuals on immunosuppressive (IS) therapy have increased mortality from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, and delayed viral clearance may lead to new viral variants. IS therapy reduces antibody responses following coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccination; however, a comprehensive assessment of vaccine immunogenicity is lacking. Here we show that IS therapy reduced neutralizing, binding, and nonneutralizing antibody functions in addition to CD4 and CD8 T-cell interferon-γ responses following COVID-19 mRNA vaccination compared to immunocompetent individuals. Moreover, IS therapy reduced cross-reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 variants. These data suggest that the standard COVID-19 mRNA vaccine regimens will likely not provide optimal protection in immunocompromised individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , RNA, Messenger , Vaccines, Synthetic
7.
Cell ; 185(9): 1549-1555.e11, 2022 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1748149

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant, including in highly vaccinated populations, has raised important questions about the efficacy of current vaccines. In this study, we show that the mRNA-based BNT162b2 vaccine and the adenovirus-vector-based Ad26.COV2.S vaccine provide robust protection against high-dose challenge with the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant in cynomolgus macaques. We vaccinated 30 macaques with homologous and heterologous prime-boost regimens with BNT162b2 and Ad26.COV2.S. Following Omicron challenge, vaccinated macaques demonstrated rapid control of virus in bronchoalveolar lavage, and most vaccinated animals also controlled virus in nasal swabs. However, 4 vaccinated animals that had moderate Omicron-neutralizing antibody titers and undetectable Omicron CD8+ T cell responses failed to control virus in the upper respiratory tract. Moreover, virologic control correlated with both antibody and T cell responses. These data suggest that both humoral and cellular immune responses contribute to vaccine protection against a highly mutated SARS-CoV-2 variant.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19 , Macaca , SARS-CoV-2 , /administration & dosage , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
9.
Sci Adv ; 8(11): eabl6015, 2022 Mar 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745843

ABSTRACT

Authorized vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 remain less available in low- and middle-income countries due to insufficient supply, high costs, and storage requirements. Global immunity could still benefit from new vaccines using widely available, safe adjuvants, such as alum and protein subunits, suited to low-cost production in existing manufacturing facilities. Here, a clinical-stage vaccine candidate comprising a SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain-hepatitis B surface antigen virus-like particle elicited protective immunity in cynomolgus macaques. Titers of neutralizing antibodies (>104) induced by this candidate were above the range of protection for other licensed vaccines in nonhuman primates. Including CpG 1018 did not significantly improve the immunological responses. Vaccinated animals challenged with SARS-CoV-2 showed reduced median viral loads in bronchoalveolar lavage (~3.4 log10) and nasal mucosa (~2.9 log10) versus sham controls. These data support the potential benefit of this design for a low-cost modular vaccine platform for SARS-CoV-2 and other variants of concern or betacoronaviruses.

10.
Med (N Y) ; 3(3): 188-203.e4, 2022 Mar 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740045

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Human monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments are promising for COVID-19 prevention or therapy. The pre-exposure prophylactic efficacy of neutralizing antibodies that are engineered with mutations to extend their persistence in human serum and the neutralizing antibody titer in serum required for protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection remain poorly characterized. METHODS: The Fc region of two neutralizing mAbs (COV2-2130 and COV2-2381) targeting non-overlapping epitopes on the receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was engineered to extend their persistence in humans and reduce interactions with Fc gamma receptors. We assessed protection by individual antibodies or a combination of the two antibodies (designated ADM03820) given prophylactically by an intravenous or intramuscular route in a non-human primate (NHP) model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. FINDINGS: Passive transfer of individual mAbs or ADM03820 conferred virological protection in the NHP respiratory tract in a dose-dependent manner, and ADM03820 potently neutralized SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in vitro. We defined a protective serum-neutralizing antibody titer and concentration in NHPs for passively transferred human antibodies that acted by direct viral neutralization. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, we demonstrate that neutralizing antibodies with extended half-life and lacking Fc-mediated effector functions are efficient for pre-exposure prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in NHPs. These results support clinical development of ADM03820 for COVID-19 prevention. FUNDING: This research was supported by a contract from the JPEO-CBRND (W911QY-20-9-003, 20-05); the Joint Sciences and Technology Office and Joint Program Executive Office (MCDC-16-01-002 JSTO, JPEO); a DARPA grant (HR0011-18-2-0001); an NIH grant (R01 AI157155); and the 2019 Future Insight Prize from Merck KGaA.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Macaca , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
11.
Sci Transl Med ; 14(638): eabm4996, 2022 03 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705843

ABSTRACT

Ad26.COV2.S has demonstrated durability and clinical efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 in humans. In this study, we report the correlates of durability of humoral and cellular immune responses in 20 rhesus macaques immunized with single-shot Ad26.COV2.S and the immunogenicity of a booster shot at 8 to 10 months after the initial immunization. Ad26.COV2.S elicited durable binding and neutralizing antibodies as well as memory B cells and long-lived bone marrow plasma cells. Innate immune responses and bone marrow plasma cell responses correlated with durable antibody responses. After Ad26.COV2.S boost immunization, binding and neutralizing antibody responses against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants increased 31- to 69-fold and 23- to 43-fold, respectively, compared with preboost concentrations. Antigen-specific B cell and T cell responses also increased substantially after the boost immunization. Boosting with a modified Ad26.COV2.S.351 vaccine expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from the beta variant led to largely comparable responses with slightly higher beta- and omicron-specific humoral immune responses. These data demonstrate that a late boost with Ad26.COV2.S or Ad26.COV2.S.351 resulted in a marked increase in humoral and cellular immune responses that were highly cross-reactive across multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants in rhesus macaques.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Macaca mulatta , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination
12.
NPJ Vaccines ; 7(1): 23, 2022 Feb 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703964

ABSTRACT

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants with the potential to escape binding and neutralizing antibody responses pose a threat to vaccine efficacy. We recently reported expansion of broadly neutralizing activity of vaccine-elicited antibodies in humans 8 months following a single immunization with Ad26.COV2.S. Here, we assessed the 15-month durability of antibody responses and their neutralizing capacity to B.1.617.2 (delta) and B.1.351 (beta) variants following a single immunization of Ad26.COV2.S in mice. We report the persistence of binding and neutralizing antibody titers following immunization with a concomitant increase in neutralizing antibody breadth to delta and beta variants over time. Evaluation of bone marrow and spleen at 15 months postimmunization revealed that Ad26.COV2.S-immunized mice tissues contained spike-specific antibody-secreting cells. We conclude that immunization with Ad26.COV2.S elicits a robust immune response against SARS-CoV-2 spike, which expands over time to neutralize delta and beta variants more robustly, and seeds bone marrow and spleen with long-lived spike-specific antibody-secreting cells. These data extend previous findings in humans and support the use of a mouse model as a potential tool to further explore the dynamics of the humoral immune response following vaccination with Ad26.COV2.S.

13.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327474

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) has three major lineages BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3 1 . BA.1 rapidly became dominant and has demonstrated substantial escape from neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) induced by vaccination 2-4 . BA.2 has recently increased in frequency in multiple regions of the world, suggesting that BA.2 has a selective advantage over BA.1. BA.1 and BA.2 share multiple common mutations, but both also have unique mutations 1 ( Fig. 1A ). The ability of BA.2 to evade NAbs induced by vaccination or infection has not yet been reported. We evaluated WA1/2020, Omicron BA.1, and BA.2 NAbs in 24 individuals who were vaccinated and boosted with the mRNA BNT162b2 vaccine 5 and in 8 individuals who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 ( Table S1 ).

14.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327461

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Background The rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant, including in highly vaccinated populations, has raised important questions about the efficacy of current vaccines. Immune correlates of vaccine protection against Omicron are not known. Methods 30 cynomolgus macaques were immunized with homologous and heterologous prime-boost regimens with the mRNA-based BNT162b2 vaccine and the adenovirus vector-based Ad26.COV2.S vaccine. Following vaccination, animals were challenged with the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant by the intranasal and intratracheal routes. Results Omicron neutralizing antibodies were observed following the boost immunization and were higher in animals that received BNT162b2, whereas Omicron CD8+ T cell responses were higher in animals that received Ad26.COV2.S. Following Omicron challenge, sham controls showed more prolonged virus in nasal swabs than in bronchoalveolar lavage. Vaccinated macaques demonstrated rapid control of virus in bronchoalveolar lavage, and most vaccinated animals also controlled virus in nasal swabs, showing that current vaccines provide substantial protection against Omicron in this model. However, vaccinated animals that had moderate levels of Omicron neutralizing antibodies but negligible Omicron CD8+ T cell responses failed to control virus in the upper respiratory tract. Virologic control correlated with both antibody and T cell responses. Conclusions BNT162b2 and Ad26.COV2.S provided robust protection against high-dose challenge with the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant in macaques. Protection against this highly mutated SARS-CoV-2 variant correlated with both humoral and cellular immune responses.

15.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687051

ABSTRACT

The persistent expansion of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) requires the rapid development of safe and effective countermeasures to reduce transmission, morbidity, and mortality. Several highly efficacious vaccines are actively being deployed around the globe to expedite mass vaccination and control of COVID-19. Notably, viral vectored vaccines (VVVs) are among the first to be approved for global distribution and use. In this review, we examine the humoral, cellular, and innate immune responses elicited by viral vectors, and the immune correlates of protection against COVID-19 in preclinical and clinical studies. We also discuss the durability and breadth of immune response induced by VVVs and boosters. Finally, we present challenges associated with VVVs and offer solutions for overcoming certain limitations of current vaccine regimens. Collectively, this review provides the rationale for expanding the portfolio of VVVs against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Genetic Vectors/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Vaccines/genetics , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Clinical Trials as Topic , Disease Models, Animal , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunity, Innate , Immunization, Secondary , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Viral Vaccines/classification
16.
Nature ; 603(7901): 493-496, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661970

ABSTRACT

The highly mutated SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has been shown to evade a substantial fraction of neutralizing antibody responses elicited by current vaccines that encode the WA1/2020 spike protein1. Cellular immune responses, particularly CD8+ T cell responses, probably contribute to protection against severe SARS-CoV-2 infection2-6. Here we show that cellular immunity induced by current vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 is highly conserved to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron spike protein. Individuals who received the Ad26.COV2.S or BNT162b2 vaccines demonstrated durable spike-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses, which showed extensive cross-reactivity against both the Delta and the Omicron variants, including in central and effector memory cellular subpopulations. Median Omicron spike-specific CD8+ T cell responses were 82-84% of the WA1/2020 spike-specific CD8+ T cell responses. These data provide immunological context for the observation that current vaccines still show robust protection against severe disease with the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant despite the substantially reduced neutralizing antibody responses7,8.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
17.
NPJ Vaccines ; 7(1): 2, 2022 Jan 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616986

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 Spike-specific binding and neutralizing antibodies, elicited either by natural infection or vaccination, have emerged as potential correlates of protection. An important question, however, is whether vaccine-elicited antibodies in humans provide direct, functional protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease. In this study, we explored directly the protective efficacy of human antibodies elicited by Ad26.COV2.S vaccination by adoptive transfer studies. IgG from plasma of Ad26.COV2.S vaccinated individuals was purified and transferred into naïve golden Syrian hamster recipients, followed by intra-nasal challenge of the hamsters with SARS-CoV-2. IgG purified from Ad26.COV2.S-vaccinated individuals provided dose-dependent protection in the recipient hamsters from weight loss following challenge. In contrast, IgG purified from placebo recipients provided no protection in this adoptive transfer model. Attenuation of weight loss correlated with binding and neutralizing antibody titers of the passively transferred IgG. This study suggests that Ad26.COV2.S-elicited antibodies in humans are mechanistically involved in protection against SARS-CoV-2.

18.
Sci Adv ; 7(50): eabj6538, 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559847

ABSTRACT

There is a need for additional rapidly scalable, low-cost vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to achieve global vaccination. Aluminum hydroxide (alum) adjuvant is the most widely available vaccine adjuvant but elicits modest humoral responses. We hypothesized that phosphate-mediated coanchoring of the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 together with molecular adjuvants on alum particles could potentiate humoral immunity by promoting extended vaccine kinetics and codelivery of vaccine components to lymph nodes. Modification of RBD immunogens with phosphoserine (pSer) peptides enabled efficient alum binding and slowed antigen clearance, leading to notable increases in germinal center responses and neutralizing antibody titers in mice. Adding phosphate-containing CpG or saponin adjuvants to pSer-RBD:alum immunizations synergistically enhanced vaccine immunogenicity in mice and rhesus macaques, inducing neutralizing responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants. Thus, phosphate-mediated coanchoring of RBD and molecular adjuvants to alum is an effective strategy to enhance the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccines.

19.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296116

ABSTRACT

Previous studies have reported that a third dose of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine increased antibody titers and protective efficacy. Here we compare humoral and cellular immune responses in 65 individuals who were vaccinated with the BNT162b2 vaccine and were boosted after at least 6 months with either Ad26.COV2.S (Johnson & Johnson;N=41) or BNT162b2 (Pfizer;N=24).

20.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(618): eabj2641, 2021 Nov 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546435

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants that result in increased transmissibility and partial evasion of neutralizing antibodies have recently emerged. Whether natural immunity induced by the original SARS-CoV-2 WA1/2020 strain protects against rechallenge with these SARS-CoV-2 variants remains a critical unresolved question. In this study, we show that natural immunity induced by the WA1/2020 strain leads to partial but incomplete protection against the SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta) in rhesus macaques. We challenged rhesus macaques with B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 and showed that infection with these variants resulted in high viral replication in the upper and lower respiratory tract. We then infected rhesus macaques with the WA1/2020 strain and rechallenged them on day 35 with the WA1/2020, B.1.1.7, or B.1.351 variants. Natural immunity to WA1/2020 led to robust protection against rechallenge with WA1/2020 but only partial protection against rechallenge with B.1.351. An intermediate degree of protection was observed in rhesus macaques against rechallenge with B.1.1.7. These data demonstrate partial but incomplete protective efficacy of natural immunity induced by WA1/2020 against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Our findings have important implications for both vaccination and public health strategies in the context of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Reinfection
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