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1.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1195299, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239018

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant has rapidly spread around the globe. With a substantial number of mutations in its Spike protein, the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is prone to immune evasion and led to the reduced efficacy of approved vaccines. Thus, emerging variants have brought new challenges to the prevention of COVID-19 and updated vaccines are urgently needed to provide better protection against the Omicron variant or other highly mutated variants. Materials and methods: Here, we developed a novel bivalent mRNA vaccine, RBMRNA-405, comprising a 1:1 mix of mRNAs encoding both Delta-derived and Omicron-derived Spike proteins. We evaluated the immunogenicity of RBMRNA-405 in BALB/c mice and compared the antibody response and prophylactic efficacy induced by monovalent Delta or Omicron-specific vaccine with the bivalent RBMRNA-405 vaccine in the SARSCoV-2 variant challenge. Results: Results showed that the RBMRNA-405 vaccine could generate broader neutralizing antibody responses against both Wuhan-Hu-1 and other SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Delta, Omicron, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. RBMRNA-405 efficiently blocked infectious viral replication and lung injury in both Omicron- and Delta-challenged K18-ACE2 mice. Conclusion: Our data suggest that RBMRNA-405 is a promising bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine with broad-spectrum efficacy for further clinical development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Animals , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mice, Inbred BALB C , RNA, Messenger , Vaccines, Combined , mRNA Vaccines
2.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 3500, 2023 06 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236856

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants BA.1 and BA.2 exhibit reduced lung cell infection relative to previously circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, which may account for their reduced pathogenicity. However, it is unclear whether lung cell infection by BA.5, which displaced these variants, remains attenuated. Here, we show that the spike (S) protein of BA.5 exhibits increased cleavage at the S1/S2 site and drives cell-cell fusion and lung cell entry with higher efficiency than its counterparts from BA.1 and BA.2. Increased lung cell entry depends on mutation H69Δ/V70Δ and is associated with efficient replication of BA.5 in cultured lung cells. Further, BA.5 replicates in the lungs of female Balb/c mice and the nasal cavity of female ferrets with much higher efficiency than BA.1. These results suggest that BA.5 has acquired the ability to efficiently infect lung cells, a prerequisite for causing severe disease, suggesting that evolution of Omicron subvariants can result in partial loss of attenuation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Female , Mice , Ferrets , SARS-CoV-2 , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Lung
3.
J Med Virol ; 95(6): e28846, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20245127

ABSTRACT

Since the first SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in late 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 genome has harbored multiple mutations, especially spike protein mutations. The currently fast-spreading Omicron variant that manifests without symptoms or with upper respiratory diseases has been recognized as a serious global public health problem. However, its pathological mechanism is largely unknown. In this work, rhesus macaques, hamsters, and BALB/C mice were employed as animal models to explore the pathogenesis of Omicron (B.1.1.529). Notably, Omicron (B.1.1.529) infected the nasal turbinates, tracheae, bronchi, and lungs of hamsters and BALB/C mice with higher viral loads than in those of rhesus macaques. Severe histopathological damage and inflammatory responses were observed in the lungs of Omicron (B.1.1.529)-infected animals. In addition, viral replication was found in multiple extrapulmonary organs. Results indicated that hamsters and BALB/c mice are potential animal models for studies on the development of drugs/vaccines and therapies for Omicron (B.1.1.529).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Mice , Animals , Cricetinae , Macaca mulatta , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Bronchi
4.
Vopr Virusol ; 68(2): 152-160, 2023 05 18.
Article in Russian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20242884

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic combined with seasonal epidemics of respiratory viral diseases requires targeted antiviral prophylaxis with restorative and immunostimulant drugs. The compounds of natural origin are low-toxic, but active against several viruses at the same time. One of the most famous compounds is Inonotus obliquus aqueous extract. The fruit body of basidial fungus I. obliquus is called Chaga mushroom. The aim of the work ‒ was to study the antiviral activity of I. obliquus aqueous extract against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in vivo. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Antiviral activity of I. obliquus aqueous extract sample (#20-17) was analyzed against strain of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron ВА.5.2 virus. The experiments were carried out in BALB/c inbred mice. The SARS-CoV-2 viral load was measured using quantitative real-time PCR combined with reverse transcription. The severity of lung tissue damage was assessed by histological methods. RESULTS: The peak values of the viral load in murine lung tissues were determined 72 hours after intranasal inoculation at dose of 2,85 lg TCID50. The quantitative real-time PCR testing has shown a significant decrease in the viral load compared to the control group by 4,65 lg copies/ml and 5,72 lg copies/ml in the lung tissue and nasal cavity samples, respectively. Histological methods revealed that the decrease in the number and frequency of observed pathomorphological changes in murine lung tissues depended on the introduction of the compound under study. CONCLUSION: The results obtained indicate the possibility of using basidial fungus Inonotus obliquus aqueous extract as a preventive agent against circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Subject(s)
Basidiomycota , COVID-19 , Coronaviridae , Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus , Humans , Mice , Animals , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Pandemics , Fungi
5.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 119: 110262, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2311217

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019, i.e., the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by a highly virulent and transmissible pathogen, has profoundly impacted global society. One approach to combat infectious diseases caused by pathogenic microbes is using mucosal vaccines, which can induce antigen-specific immune responses at both the mucosal and systemic sites. Despite its potential, the clinical implementation of mucosal vaccination is hampered by the lack of safe and effective mucosal adjuvants. Therefore, developing safe and effective mucosal adjuvants is essential for the fight against infectious diseases and the widespread clinical use of mucosal vaccines. In this study, we demonstrated the potent mucosal adjuvant effects of intranasal administration of sodium nitroprusside (SNP), a known nitric oxide (NO) donor, in mice. The results showed that intranasal administration of ovalbumin (OVA) in combination with SNP induced the production of OVA-specific immunoglobulin A in the mucosa and increased serum immunoglobulin G1 levels, indicating a T helper-2 (Th2)-type immune response. However, an analog of SNP, sodium ferrocyanide, which does not generate NO, failed to show any adjuvant effects, suggesting the critical role of NO generation in activating an immune response. In addition, SNPs facilitated the delivery of antigens to the lamina propria, where antigen-presenting cells are located, when co-administered with antigens, and also transiently elicited the expression of interleukin-6, interleukin-1ß, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 1, and C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 2 in nasal tissue. These result suggest that SNP is a dual-functional formulation with antigen delivery capabilities to the lamina propria and the capacity to activate innate immunity. In summary, these results demonstrate the ability of SNP to induce immune responses via an antigen-specific Th2-type response, making it a promising candidate for further development as a mucosal vaccine formulation against infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Mice , Animals , Humans , Administration, Intranasal , Nitroprusside , Antibody Formation , Ligands , Pandemics , Mucous Membrane , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Antigens , Immunity, Innate , Chemokines , Immunity, Mucosal , Mice, Inbred BALB C
6.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1147953, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2292455

ABSTRACT

Several COVID-19 vaccine strategies utilizing new formulations for the induction of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) and T cell immunity are still under evaluation in preclinical and clinical studies. Here we used Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV)-based integrase defective lentiviral vector (IDLV) delivering different conformations of membrane-tethered Spike protein in the mouse immunogenicity model, with the aim of inducing persistent nAbs against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoC). Spike modifications included prefusion-stabilizing double proline (2P) substitutions, mutations at the furin cleavage site (FCS), D614G mutation and truncation of the cytoplasmic tail (delta21) of ancestral and Beta (B.1.351) Spike, the latter mutation to markedly improve IDLV membrane-tethering. BALB/c mice were injected once with IDLV delivering the different forms of Spike or the recombinant trimeric Spike protein with 2P substitutions and FCS mutations in association with a squalene-based adjuvant. Anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) binding Abs, nAbs and T cell responses were detected up to six months from a single immunization with escalating doses of vaccines in all mice, but with different levels and kinetics. Results indicated that IDLV delivering the Spike protein with all the combined modifications, outperformed the other candidates in terms of T cell immunity and level of both binding Abs and nAbs soon after the single immunization and persistence over time, showing the best capacity to neutralize all formerly circulating VoC Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. Although present, the lowest response was detected against Omicron variants (BA.1, BA.2 and BA.4/5), suggesting that the magnitude of immune evasion may be related to the higher genetic distance of Omicron as indicated by increased number of amino acid substitutions in Spike acquired during virus evolution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Humans , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Integrases , COVID-19 Vaccines , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Disease Models, Animal , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Immunity
7.
Virol J ; 20(1): 75, 2023 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302137

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes non-symptomatic infection, mild influenza-like symptoms to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, and even death, reflecting different clinical symptoms of viral infection. However, the mechanism of its pathogenicity remains unclear. Host-specific traits have a breakthrough significance for studying the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2. We previously reported SARS-CoV-2/BMA8, a mouse-adapted strain, was lethal to aged BALB/c mice but not to aged C57BL/6N mice. Here, we further investigate the differences in pathogenicity of BMA8 strain against wild-type aged C57BL/6N and BALB/c mice. METHODS: Whole blood and tissues were collected from mice before and after BMA8 strain infection. Viral replication and infectivity were assessed by detection of viral RNA copies and viral titers; the degree of inflammation in mice was tested by whole blood cell count, ELISA and RT-qPCR assays; the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2/BMA8 in mice was measured by Histopathology and Immunohistochemistry; and the immune level of mice was evaluated by flow cytometry to detect the number of CD8+ T cells. RESULTS: Our results suggest that SARS-CoV-2/BMA8 strain caused lower pathogenicity and inflammation level in C57BL/6N mice than in BALB/c mice. Interestingly, BALB/c mice whose MHC class I haplotype is H-2Kd showed more severe pathogenicity after infection with BMA8 strain, while blockade of H-2Kb in C57BL/6N mice was also able to cause this phenomenon. Furthermore, H-2Kb inhibition increased the expression of cytokines/chemokines and accelerated the decrease of CD8+ T cells caused by SARS-CoV-2/BMA8 infection. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our work shows that host MHC molecules play a crucial role in the pathogenicity differences of SARS-CoV-2/BMA8 infection. This provides a more profound insight into the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2, and contributes enlightenment and guidance for controlling the virus spread.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Mice , Animals , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Virulence , COVID-19/pathology , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Inflammation , Lung/pathology , Disease Models, Animal
8.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 2309, 2023 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302070

ABSTRACT

Establishment of an mRNA vaccine platform in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is important to enhance vaccine accessibility and ensure future pandemic preparedness. Here, we describe the preclinical studies of "ChulaCov19", a SARS-CoV-2 mRNA encoding prefusion-unstabilized ectodomain spike protein encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles (LNP). In female BALB/c mice, ChulaCov19 at 0.2, 1, 10, and 30 µg elicits robust neutralizing antibody (NAb) and T cell responses in a dose-dependent relationship. The geometric mean titers (GMTs) of NAb against wild-type (WT, Wuhan-Hu1) virus are 1,280, 11,762, 54,047, and 62,084, respectively. Higher doses induce better cross-NAb against Delta (B.1.617.2) and Omicron (BA.1 and BA.4/5) variants. This elicited immunogenicity is significantly higher than those induced by homologous CoronaVac or AZD1222 vaccination. In a heterologous prime-boost study, ChulaCov19 booster dose generates a 7-fold increase of NAb against Wuhan-Hu1 WT virus and also significantly increases NAb response against Omicron (BA.1 and BA.4/5) when compared to homologous CoronaVac or AZD1222 vaccination. Challenge studies show that ChulaCov19 protects human-ACE-2-expressing female mice from COVID-19 symptoms, prevents viremia and significantly reduces tissue viral load. Moreover, anamnestic NAb response is undetectable in challenge animals. ChulaCov19 is therefore a promising mRNA vaccine candidate either as a primary or boost vaccination and has entered clinical development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Animals , Mice , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Mice, Inbred BALB C , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Antibodies, Viral
9.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(22)2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302145

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has posed great threat to the world in many aspects. There is an urgent requirement for an effective preventive vaccine. The receptor binding domain (RBD), located on the spike (S) gene, is responsible for binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor of host cells. The RBD protein is an effective and safe antigen candidate. The six-helix bundle (6HB) "molecular clamp" is a novel thermally-stable trimerization domain derived from a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gp41 protein segment. We selected the baculovirus system to fuse and express the RBD protein and 6HB for imitating the natural trimeric structure of RBD, named RBD-6HB. Recombinant RBD-6HB was successfully obtained from the cell culture supernatant and purified to high homogeneity. The purity of the final protein preparation was more than 97%. The results showed that the protein was identified as a homogeneous polymer. Further studies showed that the RBD-6HB protein combined with AL/CpG adjuvant could stimulate animals to produce sustained high-level antibodies and establish an effective protective barrier to protect mice from challenges. Our findings highlight the importance of trimerized SARS-CoV-2 S protein RBD in designing SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and provide a rationale for developing a protective vaccine through the induction of antibodies against the RBD domain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Humans , Mice , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Antibodies
10.
Viruses ; 15(3)2023 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2286270

ABSTRACT

T-cell immunity plays an important role in the control of SARS-CoV-2 and has a great cross-protective effect on the variants. The Omicron BA.1 variant contains more than 30 mutations in the spike and severely evades humoral immunity. To understand how Omicron BA.1 spike mutations affect cellular immunity, the T-cell epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 wild-type and Omicron BA.1 spike in BALB/c (H-2d) and C57BL/6 mice (H-2b) were mapped through IFNγ ELISpot and intracellular cytokine staining assays. The epitopes were identified and verified in splenocytes from mice vaccinated with the adenovirus type 5 vector encoding the homologous spike, and the positive peptides involved in spike mutations were tested against wide-type and Omicron BA.1 vaccines. A total of eleven T-cell epitopes of wild-type and Omicron BA.1 spike were identified in BALB/c mice, and nine were identified in C57BL/6 mice, only two of which were CD4+ T-cell epitopes and most of which were CD8+ T-cell epitopes. The A67V and Del 69-70 mutations in Omicron BA.1 spike abolished one epitope in wild-type spike, and the T478K, E484A, Q493R, G496S and H655Y mutations resulted in three new epitopes in Omicron BA.1 spike, while the Y505H mutation did not affect the epitope. These data describe the difference of T-cell epitopes in SARS-CoV-2 wild-type and Omicron BA.1 spike in H-2b and H-2d mice, providing a better understanding of the effects of Omicron BA.1 spike mutations on cellular immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Animals , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Mutation , Mice, Inbred BALB C
11.
Microb Cell Fact ; 22(1): 39, 2023 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2280034

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Virus-like particles are an interesting vector platform for vaccine development. Particularly, Hepatitis B virus core antigen has been used as a promising VLP platform. It is highly expressed in different recombinant expression systems, such as E. coli, and self-assembled in vitro. It effectively improves the immunogenicity of foreign antigenic epitopes on its surface. Various foreign antigens from bacteria, viruses, and protozoa can be genetically inserted into such nanoparticles. The effective immunogenicity due to VLP vaccines has been reported. However, no research has been performed on the SARS-CoV2 vaccine within this unique platform through genetic engineering. Considering the high yield of target proteins, low cost of production, and feasibility of scaling up, E. coli is an outstanding expression platform to develop such vaccines. Therefore, in this investigation, we planned to study and develop a unique HBc VLP-based vaccine against SARS-Cov2 utilizing the E. coli expression system due to its importance. RESULTS: Insertion of the selected epitope was done into the major immunodominant region (MIR) of truncated (149 residues) hepatitis B core capsid protein. The chimeric protein was constructed in PET28a+ and expressed through the bacterial E. coli BL21 expression system. However, the protein was expressed in inclusion body forms and extracted following urea denaturation from the insoluble phase. Following the extraction, the vaccine protein was purified using Ni2 + iminodiacetic acid (IDA) affinity chromatography. SDS-PAGE and western blotting were used to confirm the protein expression. Regarding the denaturation step, the unavoidable refolding process was carried out, so that the chimeric VLP reassembled in native conformation. Based on the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis, the HBC VLP was successfully assembled. Confirming the assembled chimeric VLP, we explored the immunogenic effectivity of the vaccine through mice immunization with two-dose vaccination with and without adjuvant. The utilization of adjuvant was suggested to assess the effect of adjuvant on improving the immune elicitation of chimeric VLP-based vaccine. Immunization analysis based on anti-spike specific IgG antibody showed a significant increase in antibody production in harvested serum from immunized mice with HBc-VLP harboring antigenic epitope compared to HBc-VLP- and PBS-injected mice. CONCLUSIONS: The results approved the successful production and the effectiveness of the vaccine in terms of humoral IgG antibody production. Therefore, this platform can be considered a promising strategy for developing safe and reasonable vaccines; however, more complementary immunological evaluations are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hepatitis B , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle , Mice , Animals , Epitopes , Hepatitis B virus/genetics , Hepatitis B virus/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Immunity, Humoral , Escherichia coli/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adjuvants, Immunologic/metabolism , Mice, Inbred BALB C
12.
Virus Res ; 329: 199091, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2278899

ABSTRACT

AIM: This study investigated the prophylactic and therapeutic role of ultradiluted preparation of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 recombinant spike (S) protein during S antigen-induced inflammatory process of disease progression along with the probable mechanism of action. MAIN METHODS: Ultradiluted S protein (UDSP) was prepared and administered orally to adult BALB/c mice before and after administration of S antigen intranasally. After an observation period of 72 h, animals were sacrificed and expression level of ferritin was assayed through ELISA. The genetic expressions of cytokines, IL-6, IL-10, IL-1ß, TNFα, IL-17, MMP-9, TIMP-1, ferritin light and heavy chains, and mitochondrial ferritin from lung tissues were investigated through RT-PCR. Formalin-fixed lung tissue sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin to observe the degree of pathological changes. The activity of MMP-9 in lung tissues was investigated through gelatin zymography and immunofluorescence of MMP-9 in lung tissue sections was performed to revalidate the finding from gelatin zymography. Systems biology approach was used to elucidate a probable pathway where UDSP attenuated the inflammation through the regulation of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. KEY FINDINGS: UDSP attenuated the S antigen-induced hyperinflammation in the lung by regulating pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, calming cytokine storm, reducing ferritin level both in transcriptional and translational levels, and restoring critical ratio of MMP-9: TIMP-1. SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest a probable pathway by which UDSP might have attenuated inflammation through the regulation of cytokines, receptors, and other molecules. This proclaims UDSP as a promising antiviral agent in the treatment of COVID-19-induced immunopathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Mice , Animals , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/genetics , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/analysis , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/metabolism , Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1/metabolism , Ferritins/genetics , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Gelatin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Inflammation
13.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1066730, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2268658

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants stresses the continued need for broad-spectrum therapeutic antibodies. Several therapeutic monoclonal antibodies or cocktails have been introduced for clinical use. However, unremitting emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants showed reduced neutralizing efficacy by vaccine induced polyclonal antibodies or therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. In our study, polyclonal antibodies and F(ab')2 fragments with strong affinity produced after equine immunization with RBD proteins produced strong affinity. Notably, specific equine IgG and F(ab')2 have broad and high neutralizing activity against parental virus, all SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs), including B.1.1,7, B.1.351, B.1.617.2, P.1, B.1.1.529 and BA.2, and all variants of interest (VOIs) including B.1.429, P.2, B.1.525, P.3, B.1.526, B.1.617.1, C.37 and B.1.621. Although some variants weaken the neutralizing ability of equine IgG and F(ab')2 fragments, they still exhibited superior neutralization ability against mutants compared to some reported monoclonal antibodies. Furthermore, we tested the pre-exposure and post-exposure protective efficacy of the equine immunoglobulin IgG and F(ab')2 fragments in lethal mouse and susceptible golden hamster models. Equine immunoglobulin IgG and F(ab')2 fragments effectively neutralized SARS-CoV-2 in vitro, fully protected BALB/c mice from the lethal challenge, and reduced golden hamster's lung pathological change. Therefore, equine pAbs are an adequate, broad coverage, affordable and scalable potential clinical immunotherapy for COVID-19, particularly for SARS-CoV-2 VOCs or VOIs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cricetinae , Animals , Horses , Humans , Mice , Rodentia , Mesocricetus , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , Immunoglobulin G , Mice, Inbred BALB C
14.
Vopr Virusol ; 67(5): 439-449, 2022 11 19.
Article in Russian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2268455

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The variability of SARS-CoV-2 appeared to be higher than expected, the emergence of new variants raises concerns. The aim of the work was to compare the pathogenicity of the Wuhan and BA.1.1/Omicron variants in BALB/c mice and Syrian hamsters. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study used strains of SARS-CoV-2: Dubrovka phylogenetically close to Wuhan-Hu-1, and LIA phylogenetically close to Omicron, BALB/c mice, transgenic mice B6.Cg-Tg(K18-ACE2)2Prlmn/HEMI Hemizygous for Tg(K18-ACE2)2Prlmn, Syrian golden hamsters. Animals were infected intranasally, pathogenicity was estimated by a complex of clinical, pathomorphological and virological methods. RESULTS: Comparative studies of SARS-CoV-2 Dubrovka and LIA strains on animal models demonstrated their heterogeneous pathogenicity. In parallel infection of BALB/c mice with Dubrovka and LIA variants, the infection proceeded without serious clinical signs and lung damage. Infection with the LIA strain resulted to a systemic disease with a high concentration of viral RNA in the lungs and brain tissues of animals. The presence of viral RNA in mice infected with the Dubrovka strain was transient and undetectable in the lungs by day 7 post-infection. Unlike the mouse model, in hamsters, the Dubrovka strain had a greater pathogenicity than the LIA strain. In hamsters infected with the Dubrovka strain lung lesions were more significant, and the virus spread through organs, in particular in brain tissue, was observed. In hamsters infected with the LIA strain virus was not detected in brain tissue. CONCLUSION: The study of various variants of SARS-CoV-2 in species initially unsusceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection is important for monitoring zoonotic reservoirs that increase the risk of spread of new variants in humans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cricetinae , Mice , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Disease Models, Animal , Mice, Inbred BALB C , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
15.
ACS Biomater Sci Eng ; 9(3): 1656-1671, 2023 03 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2271527

ABSTRACT

As the world braces to enter its fourth year of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the need for accessible and effective antiviral therapeutics continues to be felt globally. The recent surge of Omicron variant cases has demonstrated that vaccination and prevention alone cannot quell the spread of highly transmissible variants. A safe and nontoxic therapeutic with an adaptable design to respond to the emergence of new variants is critical for transitioning to the treatment of COVID-19 as an endemic disease. Here, we present a novel compound, called SBCoV202, that specifically and tightly binds the translation initiation site of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase within the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genome, inhibiting viral replication. SBCoV202 is a Nanoligomer, a molecule that includes peptide nucleic acid sequences capable of binding viral RNA with single-base-pair specificity to accurately target the viral genome. The compound has been shown to be safe and nontoxic in mice, with favorable biodistribution, and has shown efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Safety and biodistribution were assessed using three separate administration methods, namely, intranasal, intravenous, and intraperitoneal. Safety studies showed the Nanoligomer caused no outward distress, immunogenicity, or organ tissue damage, measured through observation of behavior and body weight, serum levels of cytokines, and histopathology of fixed tissue, respectively. SBCoV202 was evenly biodistributed throughout the body, with most tissues measuring Nanoligomer concentrations well above the compound KD of 3.37 nM. In addition to favorable availability to organs such as the lungs, lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, the compound circulated through the blood and was rapidly cleared through the renal and urinary systems. The favorable biodistribution and lack of immunogenicity and toxicity set Nanoligomers apart from other antisense therapies, while the adaptability of the nucleic acid sequence of Nanoligomers provides a defense against future emergence of drug resistance, making these molecules an attractive potential treatment for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , COVID-19 , Genome, Viral , Nanomedicine , Nanostructures , Oligoribonucleotides , Peptide Nucleic Acids , SARS-CoV-2 , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Drug Treatment/adverse effects , COVID-19 Drug Treatment/methods , Nanostructures/administration & dosage , Nanostructures/adverse effects , Nanostructures/therapeutic use , Nanomedicine/methods , Patient Safety , Peptide Nucleic Acids/administration & dosage , Peptide Nucleic Acids/adverse effects , Peptide Nucleic Acids/pharmacokinetics , Peptide Nucleic Acids/therapeutic use , Oligoribonucleotides/administration & dosage , Oligoribonucleotides/adverse effects , Oligoribonucleotides/pharmacokinetics , Oligoribonucleotides/therapeutic use , Animals , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , In Vitro Techniques , Genome, Viral/drug effects , Genome, Viral/genetics , Tissue Distribution
16.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 1637, 2023 03 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2270479

ABSTRACT

The emergence of increasingly immunoevasive SARS-CoV-2 variants emphasizes the need for prophylactic strategies to complement vaccination in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Intranasal administration of neutralizing antibodies has shown encouraging protective potential but there remains a need for SARS-CoV-2 blocking agents that are less vulnerable to mutational viral variation and more economical to produce in large scale. Here we describe TriSb92, a highly manufacturable and stable trimeric antibody-mimetic sherpabody targeted against a conserved region of the viral spike glycoprotein. TriSb92 potently neutralizes SARS-CoV-2, including the latest Omicron variants like BF.7, XBB, and BQ.1.1. In female Balb/c mice intranasal administration of just 5 or 50 micrograms of TriSb92 as early as 8 h before but also 4 h after SARS-CoV-2 challenge can protect from infection. Cryo-EM and biochemical studies reveal triggering of a conformational shift in the spike trimer as the inhibitory mechanism of TriSb92. The potency and robust biochemical properties of TriSb92 together with its resistance against viral sequence evolution suggest that TriSb92 could be useful as a nasal spray for protecting susceptible individuals from SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Female , Animals , Mice , Humans , Administration, Intranasal , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Antibodies, Viral , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
17.
Vaccine ; 41(17): 2793-2803, 2023 04 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2287284

ABSTRACT

Protein subunit vaccines have been widely used to combat infectious diseases, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Adjuvants play the key role in shaping the quality and magnitude of the immune response to protein and inactivated vaccines. We previously developed a protein subunit COVID-19 vaccine, termed ZF2001, based on an aluminium hydroxide-adjuvanted tandem-repeat dimeric receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike (S) protein. Here, we described the use of a squalene-based oil-in-water adjuvant, Sepivac SWE™ (abbreviated to SWE), to further improve the immunogenicity of this RBD-dimer-based subunit vaccines. Compared with ZF2001, SWE adjuvant enhanced the antibody and CD4+ T-cell responses in mice with at least 10 fold of dose sparing compared with ZF2001 adjuvanted with aluminium hydroxide. SWE-adjuvanted vaccine protected mice against SARS-CoV-2 challenge. To ensure adequate protection against the currently circulating Omicron variant, we evaluated this adjuvant in combination with Delta-Omicron chimeric RBD-dimer. SWE significantly increased antibody responses compared with aluminium hydroxide adjuvant and afforded greater neutralization breadth. These data highlight the advantage of emulsion-based adjuvants to elevate the protective immune response of protein subunit COVID-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , Adjuvants, Vaccine , Protein Multimerization , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Mutation , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Humans , Animals , Mice , Binding Sites , Cell Line
18.
Viruses ; 15(3)2023 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2253490

ABSTRACT

The emergence of new immune-evasive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants and subvariants outpaces the development of vaccines specific against the dominant circulating strains. In terms of the only accepted immune correlate of protection, the inactivated whole-virion vaccine using wild-type SARS-CoV-2 spike induces a much lower serum neutralizing antibody titre against the Omicron subvariants. Since the inactivated vaccine given intramuscularly is one of the most commonly used coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines in developing regions, we tested the hypothesis that intranasal boosting after intramuscular priming would provide a broader level of protection. Here, we showed that one or two intranasal boosts with the Fc-linked trimeric spike receptor-binding domain from wild-type SARS-CoV-2 can induce significantly higher serum neutralizing antibodies against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and the Omicron subvariants, including BA.5.2 and XBB.1, with a lower titre in the bronchoalveolar lavage of vaccinated Balb/c mice than vaccination with four intramuscular doses of inactivated whole virion vaccine. The intranasally vaccinated K18-hACE2-transgenic mice also had a significantly lower nasal turbinate viral load, suggesting a better protection of the upper airway, which is the predilected site of infection by Omicron subvariants. This intramuscular priming and intranasal boosting approach that achieves broader cross-protection against Omicron variants and subvariants may lengthen the interval required for changing the vaccine immunogen from months to years.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Turbinates , Mice , Animals , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Load , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mice, Transgenic , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Antibodies, Viral , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
19.
Sheng Wu Gong Cheng Xue Bao ; 38(9): 3353-3362, 2022 Sep 25.
Article in Chinese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2264708

ABSTRACT

A fusion protein containing a tetanus toxin peptide, a tuftsin peptide and a SARS-CoV-2S protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) was prepared to investigate the effect of intramolecular adjuvant on humoral and cellular immunity of RBD protein. The tetanus toxin peptide, tuftsin peptide and S protein RBD region were connected by a flexible polypeptide, and a recombinant vector was constructed after codon optimization. The recombinant S-TT-tuftsin protein was prepared by prokaryotic expression and purification. BALB/c mice were immunized after mixed with aluminum adjuvant, and the humoral and cellular immune effects were evaluated. The recombinant S-TT-tuftsin protein was expressed as an inclusion body, and was purified by ion exchange chromatography and renaturated by gradient dialysis. The renaturated protein was identified by Dot blotting and reacted with serum of descendants immunized with SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccine. The results showed that the antibody level reached a plateau after 35 days of immunization, and the serum antibody ELISA titer of mice immunized with recombinant protein containing intramolecular adjuvant was up to 1:66 240, which was significantly higher than that of mice immunized with S-RBD protein (P < 0.05). At the same time, the recombinant protein containing intramolecular adjuvant stimulated mice to produce a stronger lymphocyte proliferation ability. The stimulation index was 4.71±0.15, which was significantly different from that of the S-RBD protein (1.83±0.09) (P < 0.000 1). Intramolecular adjuvant tetanus toxin peptide and tuftsin peptide significantly enhanced the humoral and cellular immune effect of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein RBD domain, which provideda theoretical basis for the development of subunit vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tuftsin , Viral Vaccines , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Aluminum , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Tetanus Toxin , Vaccines, Subunit
20.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2785-2793, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2253698

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in a global pandemic due to the rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). At the time of this manuscript's publication, remdesivir is the only COVID-19 treatment approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. However, its effectiveness is still under question due to the results of the large Solidarity Trial conducted by the World Health Organization. Herein, we report that the parent nucleoside of remdesivir, GS-441524, potently inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in Vero E6 and other cell lines. Challenge studies in both an AAV-hACE2 mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 and in mice infected with murine hepatitis virus, a closely related coronavirus, showed that GS-441524 was highly efficacious in reducing the viral titers in CoV-infected organs without notable toxicity. Our results support that GS-441524 is a promising and inexpensive drug candidate for treating of COVID-19 and other CoV diseases.


Subject(s)
Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Disease Models, Animal , Adenosine/chemistry , Adenosine/metabolism , Adenosine/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Structure , Structure-Activity Relationship
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