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1.
Frontiers in microbiology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1837508

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presents an unprecedented public health crisis worldwide. Although several vaccines are available, the global supply of vaccines, particularly within developing countries, is inadequate, and this necessitates a need for the development of less expensive, accessible vaccine options. To this end, here, we used the Escherichia coli expression system to produce a recombinant fusion protein comprising the receptor binding domain (RBD) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2;residues 319–541) and the fragment A domain of Cross-Reacting Material 197 (CRM197);hereafter, CRMA-RBD. We show that this CRMA-RBD fusion protein has excellent physicochemical properties and strong reactivity with COVID-19 convalescent sera and representative neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). Furthermore, compared with the use of a traditional aluminum adjuvant, we find that combining the CRMA-RBD protein with a nitrogen bisphosphonate-modified zinc-aluminum hybrid adjuvant (FH-002C-Ac) leads to stronger humoral immune responses in mice, with 4-log neutralizing antibody titers. Overall, our study highlights the value of this E. coli-expressed fusion protein as an alternative vaccine candidate strategy against COVID-19.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315306

ABSTRACT

The emergence of numerous variants of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has presented new challenges to the global efforts to control the still ravaging COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we obtain two cross-neutralizing antibodies (7D6 and 6D6) that target Sarbecoviruses’ receptor binding domain (RBD) with sub-picomolar affinities and potently neutralize authentic SARS-CoV-2. Crystal structures show that both antibodies bind a cryptic site different from that recognized by existing antibodies and highly conserved across Sarbecovirus isolates. Binding of these two antibodies to the RBD clashes with the adjacent N-terminal domain and disrupts the viral spike. Significantly, both antibodies confer good mutation resistance to the currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants. Thus, our results have direct relevance to public health as options for passive antibody therapeutics and even active prophylactics, and can also inform the design of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines.

3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327136

ABSTRACT

The widespread SARS-CoV-2 in humans results in the continuous emergence of new variants. Recently emerged Omicron variant with multiple spike mutations sharply increases the risk of breakthrough infection or reinfection, highlighting the urgent need for new vaccines with broad-spectrum antigenic coverage. Using inter-lineage chimera and mutation patch strategies, we engineered a recombinant monomeric spike variant (STFK1628x), which showed high immunogenicity and mutually complementary antigenicity to its prototypic form (STFK). In hamsters, a bivalent vaccine comprised of STFK and STFK1628x elicited high titers of broad-spectrum antibodies to neutralize all 14 circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Omicron;and fully protected vaccinees from intranasal SARS-CoV-2 challenges of either the ancestral strain or immune-evasive Beta variant. Strikingly, the vaccination of hamsters with the bivalent vaccine completely blocked the within-cage virus transmission to unvaccinated sentinels, for either the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 or Beta variant. Thus, our study provides new insights and antigen candidates for developing next-generation COVID-19 vaccines.

4.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 17(12): 4806-4815, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565875

ABSTRACT

This study aims to determine the intention of Chinese parents to vaccinate their children against SARS-CoV-2. Secondly, preferences for foreign- or domestically made COVID-19 vaccines were also explored. A nationwide, cross-sectional, self-administered online survey based on the Health Belief Model (HBM) and new vaccine concerns was used. Participants were eligible if they were residents of China with children aged 12 years old or younger. A total of 2,026 parents responded to the survey. Half reported a probable intent (50.7%) and 26.9% reported a definite intent. The results of the data analysis of partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) found that perceived cost barriers (B = -0.210, p < .001) and new vaccine concerns (B = -0.201, p < .001) had major effects in vaccination intent. Important constructs of vaccine concerns that predict vaccination intent were efficacy (B = 0.898, p < .001), followed by safety (B = 0.861, p < .001), side-effect (B = 0.806, p < .001) and faulty/fake vaccine (B = 0.579, p < .001). Perceived benefits (B = 1.81, p < .001), self-efficacy (B = 0.159, p < .001) and severity (B = 0.083, p < .01) were also significant predictors in vaccination intent. Almost two-thirds (62.0%; 95%CI 59.8 to 64.1) reported a preference for domestically made and 19.1% (95%CI 17.2 to 20.7) preferred foreign-made COVID-19 vaccines. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that higher incomes and concern of side-effects of the new COVID-19 vaccine were two of the most important influencing factors of preference for a foreign-made vaccine. This study sheds light on the importance of addressing concerns of new vaccines and the helpfulness of HBM in understanding parental decisions toward their children being vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , China , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Intention , Parents , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
5.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 9(11)2021 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512249

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This study analyzed the insights and sentiments of COVID-19 anti-vaccine comments from Instagram feeds and Facebook postings. The sentiments related to the acceptance and effectiveness of the vaccines that were on the verge of being made available to the public. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The qualitative software QSR-NVivo 10 was used to manage, code, and analyse the data. RESULTS: The analyses uncovered several major issues concerning COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. The production of the COVID-19 vaccine at an unprecedented speed evoked the fear of skipping steps that would compromise vaccine safety. The unknown long-term effects and duration of protection erode confidence in taking the vaccines. There were also persistent concerns with regard to vaccine compositions that could be harmful or contain aborted foetal cells. The rate of COVID-19 death was viewed as low. Many interpreted the 95% effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine as insufficient. Preference for immunity gains from having an infection was viewed as more effective. Peer-reviewed publication-based data were favoured as a source of trust in vaccination decision-making. CONCLUSIONS: The anti-COVID-19 vaccine sentiments found in this study provide important insights for the formulation of public health messages to instill confidence in the vaccines.

6.
Infect Dis Poverty ; 10(1): 122, 2021 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456011

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The availability of various types of COVID-19 vaccines and diverse characteristics of the vaccines present a dilemma in vaccination choices, which may result in individuals refusing a particular COVID-19 vaccine offered, hence presenting a threat to immunisation coverage and reaching herd immunity. The study aimed to assess global COVID-19 vaccination intention, vaccine characteristics influencing vaccination acceptance and desirable vaccine characteristics influencing the choice of vaccines. METHODS: An anonymous cross-sectional survey was conducted between 4 January and 5 March 2021 in 17 countries worldwide. Proportions and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and vaccine characteristics influencing vaccination acceptance were generated and compared across countries and regions. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to determine the factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. RESULTS: Of the 19,714 responses received, 90.4% (95% CI 81.8-95.3) reported likely or extremely likely to receive COVID-19 vaccine. A high proportion of likely or extremely likely to receive the COVID-19 vaccine was reported in Australia (96.4%), China (95.3%) and Norway (95.3%), while a high proportion reported being unlikely or extremely unlikely to receive the vaccine in Japan (34.6%), the U.S. (29.4%) and Iran (27.9%). Males, those with a lower educational level and those of older age expressed a higher level of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Less than two-thirds (59.7%; 95% CI 58.4-61.0) reported only being willing to accept a vaccine with an effectiveness of more than 90%, and 74.5% (95% CI 73.4-75.5) said they would accept a COVID-19 vaccine with minor adverse reactions. A total of 21.0% (95% CI 20.0-22.0) reported not accepting an mRNA vaccine and 51.8% (95% CI 50.3-53.1) reported that they would only accept a COVID-19 vaccine from a specific country-of-origin. Countries from the Southeast Asia region reported the highest proportion of not accepting mRNA technology. The highest proportion from Europe and the Americas would only accept a vaccine produced by certain countries. The foremost important vaccine characteristic influencing vaccine choice is adverse reactions (40.6%; 95% CI 39.3-41.9) of a vaccine and effectiveness threshold (35.1%; 95% CI 33.9-36.4). CONCLUSIONS: The inter-regional and individual country disparities in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy highlight the importance of designing an efficient plan for the delivery of interventions dynamically tailored to the local population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , Intention , Vaccination , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Global Health , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , Vaccination/psychology , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
7.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5652, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440473

ABSTRACT

The emergence of numerous variants of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has presented new challenges to the global efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we obtain two cross-neutralizing antibodies (7D6 and 6D6) that target Sarbecoviruses' receptor-binding domain (RBD) with sub-picomolar affinities and potently neutralize authentic SARS-CoV-2. Crystal structures show that both antibodies bind a cryptic site different from that recognized by existing antibodies and highly conserved across Sarbecovirus isolates. Binding of these two antibodies to the RBD clashes with the adjacent N-terminal domain and disrupts the viral spike. Both antibodies confer good resistance to mutations in the currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants. Thus, our results have direct relevance to public health as options for passive antibody therapeutics and even active prophylactics. They can also inform the design of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Immunization, Passive/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Binding Sites/genetics , Binding Sites/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/administration & dosage , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/isolation & purification , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/metabolism , CHO Cells , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetulus , Epitopes/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics/prevention & control , Protein Multimerization , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sf9 Cells , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells
8.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(606)2021 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319371

ABSTRACT

Multiple safe and effective vaccines that elicit immune responses against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are necessary to respond to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Here, we developed a protein subunit vaccine composed of spike ectodomain protein (StriFK) plus a nitrogen bisphosphonate-modified zinc-aluminum hybrid adjuvant (FH002C). StriFK-FH002C generated substantially higher neutralizing antibody titers in mice, hamsters, and cynomolgus monkeys than those observed in plasma isolated from COVID-19 convalescent individuals. StriFK-FH002C also induced both TH1- and TH2-polarized helper T cell responses in mice. In hamsters, StriFK-FH002C immunization protected animals against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, as shown by the absence of virus-induced weight loss, fewer symptoms of disease, and reduced lung pathology. Vaccination of hamsters with StriFK-FH002C also reduced within-cage virus transmission to unvaccinated, cohoused hamsters. In summary, StriFK-FH002C represents an effective, protein subunit-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Humans , Mice , Protein Subunits , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
Expert Rev Vaccines ; 20(7): 797-810, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260998

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Adjuvants are essential to vaccines for immunopotentiation in the elicitation of protective immunity. However, classical and widely used aluminum-based adjuvants have limited capacity to induce cellular response. There are increasing needs for appropriate adjuvants with improved profiles for vaccine development toward emerging pathogens. Carbohydrate-containing nanoparticles (NPs) with immunomodulatory activity and particulate nanocarriers for effective antigen presentation are capable of eliciting a more balanced humoral and cellular immune response.Areas covered: We reviewed several carbohydrates with immunomodulatory properties. They include chitosan, ß-glucan, mannan, and saponins, which have been used in vaccine formulations. The mode of action, the preparation methods, characterization of these carbohydrate-containing NPs and the corresponding vaccines are presented.Expert opinion: Several carbohydrate-containing NPs have entered the clinical stage or have been used in licensed vaccines for human use. Saponin-containing NPs are being evaluated in a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing the on-going worldwide pandemic. Vaccines with carbohydrate-containing NPs are in different stages of development, from preclinical studies to late-stage clinical trials. A better understanding of the mode of action for carbohydrate-containing NPs as vaccine carriers and as immunostimulators will likely contribute to the design and development of new generation vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19/prevention & control , Carbohydrates/chemistry , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Adjuvants, Immunologic/administration & dosage , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Carbohydrates/administration & dosage , Carbohydrates/immunology , Chitosan/administration & dosage , Chitosan/chemistry , Chitosan/immunology , Humans , Mannans/administration & dosage , Mannans/chemistry , Mannans/immunology , Nanoparticles/administration & dosage , beta-Glucans/administration & dosage , beta-Glucans/chemistry , beta-Glucans/immunology
10.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 14(12): e0008961, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024396

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study attempts to understand coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine demand and hesitancy by assessing the public's vaccination intention and willingness-to-pay (WTP). Confidence in COVID-19 vaccines produced in China and preference for domestically-made or foreign-made vaccines was also investigated. METHODS: A nationwide cross-sectional, self-administered online survey was conducted on 1-19 May 2020. The health belief model (HBM) was used as a theoretical framework for understanding COVID-19 vaccination intent and WTP. RESULTS: A total of 3,541 complete responses were received. The majority reported a probably yes intent (54.6%), followed by a definite yes intent (28.7%). The perception that vaccination decreases the chances of getting COVID-19 under the perceived benefit construct (OR = 3.14, 95% CI 2.05-4.83) and not being concerned about the efficacy of new COVID-19 vaccines under the perceived barriers construct (OR = 1.65, 95% CI 1.31-2.09) were found to have the highest significant odds of a definite intention to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The median (interquartile range [IQR]) of WTP for COVID-19 vaccine was CNY¥200/US$28 (IQR CNY¥100-500/USD$14-72). The highest marginal WTP for the vaccine was influenced by socio-economic factors. The majority were confident (48.7%) and completely confident (46.1%) in domestically-made COVID-19 vaccine. 64.2% reported a preference for a domestically-made over foreign-made COVID-19 vaccine. CONCLUSIONS: The findings demonstrate the utility of HBM constructs in understanding COVID-19 vaccination intent and WTP. It is important to improve health promotion and reduce the barriers to COVID-19 vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines/economics , China/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Intention , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Vaccination/economics , Young Adult
11.
Natl Sci Rev ; 8(3): nwaa291, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-977391

ABSTRACT

Minks are raised in many countries and have transmitted severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to humans. However, the biologic properties of SARS-CoV-2 in minks are largely unknown. Here, we investigated and found that SARS-CoV-2 replicates efficiently in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts, and transmits efficiently in minks via respiratory droplets; pulmonary lesions caused by SARS-CoV-2 in minks are similar to those seen in humans with COVID-19. We further found that a spike protein-based subunit vaccine largely prevented SARS-CoV-2 replication and lung damage caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection in minks. Our study indicates that minks are a useful animal model for evaluating the efficacy of drugs or vaccines against COVID-19 and that vaccination is a potential strategy to prevent minks from transmitting SARS-CoV-2.

12.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2076-2090, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-913103

ABSTRACT

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was the result of the rapid transmission of a highly pathogenic coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), for which there is no efficacious vaccine or therapeutic. Toward the development of a vaccine, here we expressed and evaluated as potential candidates four versions of the spike (S) protein using an insect cell expression system: receptor binding domain (RBD), S1 subunit, the wild-type S ectodomain (S-WT), and the prefusion trimer-stabilized form (S-2P). We showed that RBD appears as a monomer in solution, whereas S1, S-WT, and S-2P associate as homotrimers with substantial glycosylation. Cryo-electron microscopy analyses suggested that S-2P assumes an identical trimer conformation as the similarly engineered S protein expressed in 293 mammalian cells but with reduced glycosylation. Overall, the four proteins confer excellent antigenicity with convalescent COVID-19 patient sera in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), yet show distinct reactivities in immunoblotting. RBD, S-WT and S-2P, but not S1, induce high neutralization titres (>3-log) in mice after a three-round immunization regimen. The high immunogenicity of S-2P could be maintained at the lowest dose (1 µg) with the inclusion of an aluminium adjuvant. Higher doses (20 µg) of S-2P can elicit high neutralization titres in non-human primates that exceed 40-times the mean titres measured in convalescent COVID-19 subjects. Our results suggest that the prefusion trimer-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 S-protein from insect cells may offer a potential candidate strategy for the development of a recombinant COVID-19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Macaca fascicularis , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Neutralization Tests , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sf9 Cells , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spodoptera , Vaccination , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology
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