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Viruses ; 14(4)2022 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1810316


SARS-CoV-2 causes acute respiratory disease, but many patients also experience neurological complications. Neuropathological changes with pronounced neuroinflammation have been described in individuals after lethal COVID-19, as well as in the CSF of hospitalized patients with neurological complications. To assess whether neuropathological changes can occur after a SARS-CoV-2 infection, leading to mild-to-moderate disease, we investigated the brains of four rhesus and four cynomolgus macaques after pulmonary disease and without overt clinical symptoms. Postmortem analysis demonstrated the infiltration of T-cells and activated microglia in the parenchyma of all infected animals, even in the absence of viral antigen or RNA. Moreover, intracellular α-synuclein aggregates were found in the brains of both macaque species. The heterogeneity of these manifestations in the brains indicates the virus' neuropathological potential and should be considered a warning for long-term health risks, following SARS-CoV-2 infection.

COVID-19 , Encephalitis , alpha-Synuclein , Animals , Encephalitis/metabolism , Encephalitis/virology , Macaca mulatta/virology , Protein Aggregates , SARS-CoV-2 , alpha-Synuclein/metabolism
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367929


The post-acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection was investigated in rhesus (Macaca mulatta) and cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis). During the acute phase of infection, SARS-CoV-2 was shed via the nose and throat, and viral RNA was occasionally detected in feces. This phase coincided with a transient change in systemic immune activation. Even after the alleged resolution of the infection, computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET)-CT revealed pulmonary lesions and activated tracheobronchial lymph nodes in all animals. Post-mortem histological examination of the lung tissue revealed mostly marginal or resolving minimal lesions that were indicative of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Evidence for SARS-CoV-2-induced histopathology was also found in extrapulmonary tissue samples, such as conjunctiva, cervical, and mesenteric lymph nodes. However, 5-6 weeks after SARS-CoV-2 exposure, upon necropsy, viral RNA was still detectable in a wide range of tissue samples in 50% of the macaques and included amongst others the heart, the respiratory tract and surrounding lymph nodes, salivary gland, and conjunctiva. Subgenomic messenger RNA was detected in the lungs and tracheobronchial lymph nodes, indicative of ongoing virus replication during the post-acute phase. These results could be relevant for understanding the long-term consequences of COVID-19 in humans.

COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Lung/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Lung/virology , Lymph Nodes/pathology , Lymph Nodes/physiopathology , Macaca fascicularis , Macaca mulatta , RNA, Messenger/analysis , RNA, Viral/analysis , Respiratory System/pathology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Replication
Nature ; 590(7845): 320-325, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953381


The expanding pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) requires the development of safe, efficacious and fast-acting vaccines. Several vaccine platforms are being leveraged for a rapid emergency response1. Here we describe the development of a candidate vaccine (YF-S0) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that uses live-attenuated yellow fever 17D (YF17D) vaccine as a vector to express a noncleavable prefusion form of the SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen. We assess vaccine safety, immunogenicity and efficacy in several animal models. YF-S0 has an excellent safety profile and induces high levels of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), mice (Mus musculus) and cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis), and-concomitantly-protective immunity against yellow fever virus. Humoral immunity is complemented by a cellular immune response with favourable T helper 1 polarization, as profiled in mice. In a hamster model2 and in macaques, YF-S0 prevents infection with SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, a single dose conferred protection from lung disease in most of the vaccinated hamsters within as little as 10 days. Taken together, the quality of the immune responses triggered and the rapid kinetics by which protective immunity can be attained after a single dose warrant further development of this potent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate.

COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Genetic Vectors/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Attenuated/immunology , Yellow Fever Vaccine/genetics , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Glycosylation , Macaca fascicularis/genetics , Macaca fascicularis/immunology , Macaca fascicularis/virology , Male , Mesocricetus/genetics , Mesocricetus/immunology , Mesocricetus/virology , Mice , Safety , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccines, Attenuated/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Attenuated/adverse effects , Vaccines, Attenuated/genetics