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1.
Viruses ; 14(6)2022 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911605

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has emerged as the prime challenge facing public health safety since 2019. Correspondingly, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines have been developed and administered worldwide, varying in design strategies, delivery routes, immunogenicity and protective efficacy. Here, a replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) vectored recombinant COVID-19 vaccine was constructed and evaluated in BALB/c mice and Syrian golden hamsters. In BALB/c mice, intramuscular (i.m.) inoculation of recombinant vaccine induced significantly higher humoral immune response than that of the intranasal (i.n.) inoculation group. Analyses of cellular immunity revealed that a Th1-biased cellular immune response was induced in i.n. inoculation group while both Th1 and Th2 T cells were activated in i.m. inoculation group. In golden hamsters, i.n. inoculation of the recombinant vaccine triggered robust humoral immune response and conferred prominent protective efficacy post-SARS-CoV-2 challenge, indicating a better protective immunity in the i.n. inoculation group than that of the i.m. inoculation group. This study provides an effective i.n.-delivered recombinant COVID-19 vaccine candidate and elucidates a route-dependent manner of this vaccine candidate in two most frequently applied small animal models. Moreover, the golden hamster is presented as an economical and convenient small animal model that precisely reflects the immune response and protective efficacy induced by replication-competent COVID-19 vaccine candidates in other SARS-CoV-2 susceptible animals and human beings, especially in the exploration of i.n. immunization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vesicular Stomatitis , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Immunity , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Rodentia , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Vesiculovirus/genetics
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 788235, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650090

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in global effects on human health, economic stability, and social norms. The emergence of viral variants raises concerns about the efficacy of existing vaccines and highlights the continued need for the development of efficient, fast-acting, and cost-effective vaccines. Here, we demonstrate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of two vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based vaccines encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein either alone (VSV-SARS2) or in combination with the Ebola virus glycoprotein (VSV-SARS2-EBOV). Intranasally vaccinated hamsters showed an early CD8+ T cell response in the lungs and a greater antigen-specific IgG response, while intramuscularly vaccinated hamsters had an early CD4+ T cell and NK cell response. Intranasal vaccination resulted in protection within 10 days with hamsters not showing clinical signs of pneumonia when challenged with three different SARS-CoV-2 variants. This data demonstrates that VSV-based vaccines are viable single-dose, fast-acting vaccine candidates that are protective from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ebolavirus/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Ebolavirus/genetics , Female , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Plasmids , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Vero Cells , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics
3.
Virol Sin ; 37(2): 248-255, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616811

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a highly contagious zoonotic disease caused by SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Since its outbreak in Guangdong Province of China in 2002, SARS has caused 8096 infections and 774 deaths by December 31st, 2003. Although there have been no more SARS cases reported in human populations since 2004, the recent emergence of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) indicates the potential of the recurrence of SARS and other coronavirus disease among humans. Thus, developing a rapid response SARS vaccine to provide protection for human populations is still needed. Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV can induce neutralizing antibodies, which is a pivotal immunogenic antigen for vaccine development. Here we constructed a recombinant chimeric vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) VSVΔG-SARS, in which the glycoprotein (G) gene is replaced with the SARS-CoV S gene. VSVΔG-SARS maintains the bullet-like shape of the native VSV, with the heterogeneous S protein incorporated into its surface instead of G protein. The results of safety trials revealed that VSVΔG-SARS is safe and effective in mice at a dose of 1 â€‹× â€‹106 TCID50. More importantly, only a single-dose immunization of 2 â€‹× â€‹107 TCID50 can provide high-level neutralizing antibodies and robust T cell responses to non-human primate animal models. Thus, our data indicate that VSVΔG-SARS can be used as a rapid response vaccine candidate. Our study on the recombinant VSV-vectored SARS-CoV vaccines can accumulate experience and provide a foundation for the new coronavirus disease in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS Virus , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Immunization , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Macaca mulatta , Mice , SARS Virus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/metabolism
4.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(12): e1010092, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581718

ABSTRACT

The development of safe and effective vaccines to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections remains an urgent priority worldwide. We have used a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV)-based prime-boost immunization strategy to develop an effective COVID-19 vaccine candidate. We have constructed VSV genomes carrying exogenous genes resulting in the production of avirulent rVSV carrying the full-length spike protein (SF), the S1 subunit, or the receptor-binding domain (RBD) plus envelope (E) protein of SARS-CoV-2. Adding the honeybee melittin signal peptide (msp) to the N-terminus enhanced the protein expression, and adding the VSV G protein transmembrane domain and the cytoplasmic tail (Gtc) enhanced protein incorporation into pseudotype VSV. All rVSVs expressed three different forms of SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins, but chimeras with VSV-Gtc demonstrated the highest rVSV-associated expression. In immunized mice, rVSV with chimeric S protein-Gtc derivatives induced the highest level of potent neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses, and rVSV harboring the full-length msp-SF-Gtc proved to be the superior immunogen. More importantly, rVSV-msp-SF-Gtc vaccinated animals were completely protected from a subsequent SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Overall, we have developed an efficient strategy to induce a protective response in SARS-CoV-2 challenged immunized mice. Vaccination with our rVSV-based vector may be an effective solution in the global fight against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Immunization , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/immunology
5.
J Virol ; 95(22): e0096621, 2021 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561933

ABSTRACT

The high pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 requires it to be handled under biosafety level 3 conditions. Consequently, Spike protein-pseudotyped vectors are a useful tool to study viral entry and its inhibition, with retroviral, lentiviral (LV), and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) vectors the most commonly used systems. Methods to increase the titer of such vectors commonly include concentration by ultracentrifugation and truncation of the Spike protein cytoplasmic tail. However, limited studies have examined whether such a modification also impacts the protein's function. Here, we optimized concentration methods for SARS-CoV-2 Spike-pseudotyped VSV vectors, finding that tangential flow filtration produced vectors with more consistent titers than ultracentrifugation. We also examined the impact of Spike tail truncation on transduction of various cell types and sensitivity to convalescent serum neutralization. We found that tail truncation increased Spike incorporation into both LV and VSV vectors and resulted in enhanced titers but had no impact on sensitivity to convalescent serum. In addition, we analyzed the effect of the D614G mutation, which became a dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant early in the pandemic. Our studies revealed that, similar to the tail truncation, D614G independently increases Spike incorporation and vector titers, but this effect is masked by also including the cytoplasmic tail truncation. Therefore, the use of full-length Spike protein, combined with tangential flow filtration, is recommended as a method to generate high titer pseudotyped vectors that retain native Spike protein functions. IMPORTANCE Pseudotyped viral vectors are useful tools to study the properties of viral fusion proteins, especially those from highly pathogenic viruses. The Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 has been investigated using pseudotyped lentiviral and VSV vector systems, where truncation of its cytoplasmic tail is commonly used to enhance Spike incorporation into vectors and to increase the titers of the resulting vectors. However, our studies have shown that such effects can also mask the phenotype of the D614G mutation in the ectodomain of the protein, which was a dominant variant arising early in the COVID-19 pandemic. To better ensure the authenticity of Spike protein phenotypes when using pseudotyped vectors, we recommend using full-length Spike proteins, combined with tangential flow filtration methods of concentration if higher-titer vectors are required.


Subject(s)
Genetic Vectors/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cell Line , Genetic Vectors/genetics , Genetic Vectors/immunology , Humans , Lentivirus/genetics , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Viral Load/genetics
6.
J Virol ; 95(20): e0059221, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440799

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to dramatic economic and health burdens. Although the worldwide SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign has begun, exploration of other vaccine candidates is needed due to uncertainties with the current approved vaccines, such as durability of protection, cross-protection against variant strains, and costs of long-term production and storage. In this study, we developed a methyltransferase-defective recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (mtdVSV)-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate. We generated mtdVSVs expressing SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike (S) protein, S1, or its receptor-binding domain (RBD). All of these recombinant viruses grew to high titers in mammalian cells despite high attenuation in cell culture. The SARS-CoV-2 S protein and its truncations were highly expressed by the mtdVSV vector. These mtdVSV-based vaccine candidates were completely attenuated in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised mice. Among these constructs, mtdVSV-S induced high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and Th1-biased T-cell immune responses in mice. In Syrian golden hamsters, the serum levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific NAbs triggered by mtdVSV-S were higher than the levels of NAbs in convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. In addition, hamsters immunized with mtdVSV-S were completely protected against SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung and nasal turbinate tissues, cytokine storm, and lung pathology. Collectively, our data demonstrate that mtdVSV expressing SARS-CoV-2 S protein is a safe and highly efficacious vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE Viral mRNA cap methyltransferase (MTase) is essential for mRNA stability, protein translation, and innate immune evasion. Thus, viral mRNA cap MTase activity is an excellent target for development of live attenuated or live vectored vaccine candidates. Here, we developed a panel of MTase-defective recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (mtdVSV)-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates expressing full-length S, S1, or several versions of the RBD. These mtdVSV-based vaccine candidates grew to high titers in cell culture and were completely attenuated in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised mice. Among these vaccine candidates, mtdVSV-S induces high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) and Th1-biased immune responses in mice. Syrian golden hamsters immunized with mtdVSV-S triggered SARS-CoV-2-specific NAbs at higher levels than those in convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, hamsters immunized with mtdVSV-S were completely protected against SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Thus, mtdVSV is a safe and highly effective vector to deliver SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Brain/virology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Cytokine Release Syndrome/prevention & control , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/genetics , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/metabolism , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus , Methyltransferases/genetics , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Mice , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/enzymology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/physiology , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication
7.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4598, 2021 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327197

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected at least 180 million people since its identification as the cause of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid pace of vaccine development has resulted in multiple vaccines already in use worldwide. The contemporaneous emergence of SARS-CoV-2 'variants of concern' (VOC) across diverse geographic locales underscores the need to monitor the efficacy of vaccines being administered globally. All WHO designated VOC carry spike (S) polymorphisms thought to enable escape from neutralizing antibodies. Here, we characterize the neutralizing activity of post-Sputnik V vaccination sera against the ensemble of S mutations present in alpha (B.1.1.7) and beta (B.1.351) VOC. Using de novo generated replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus expressing various SARS-CoV-2-S in place of VSV-G (rcVSV-CoV2-S), coupled with a clonal 293T-ACE2 + TMPRSS2 + cell line optimized for highly efficient S-mediated infection, we determine that only 1 out of 12 post-vaccination serum samples shows effective neutralization (IC90) of rcVSV-CoV2-S: B.1.351 at full serum strength. The same set of sera efficiently neutralize S from B.1.1.7 and exhibit only moderately reduced activity against S carrying the E484K substitution alone. Taken together, our data suggest that control of some emergent SARS-CoV-2 variants may benefit from updated vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immune Sera/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination/methods , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/immunology , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/genetics , Virus Replication/immunology
8.
Virol J ; 18(1): 16, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059645

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that emerged in 2019 and is now classified in the genus Coronavirus with closely related SARS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 is highly pathogenic in humans and is classified as a biosafety level (BSL)-3 pathogen, which makes manipulating it relatively difficult due to its infectious nature. METHODS: To circumvent the need for BSL-3 laboratories, an alternative assay was developed that avoids live virus and instead uses a recombinant VSV expressing luciferase and possesses the full length or truncated spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, to measure SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies under BSL2 conditions, a chemiluminescence reduction neutralization test (CRNT) for SARS-CoV-2 was developed. The neutralization values of the serum samples collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 PCR-negative donors against the pseudotyped virus infection evaluated by the CRNT were compared with antibody titers determined from an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). RESULTS: The CRNT, which used whole blood collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19, was also examined. As a result, the inhibition of pseudotyped virus infection was specifically observed in both serum and whole blood and was also correlated with the results of the IFA. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the CRNT for COVID-19 is a convenient assay system that can be performed in a BSL-2 laboratory with high specificity and sensitivity for evaluating the occurrence of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Convalescence , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Luminescence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
Viruses ; 12(12)2020 12 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024652

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the most recent global pandemic that has caused more than a million deaths around the world. The spike glycoprotein (S) drives the entry and fusion of this virus and is the main determinant of cell tropism. To explore S requirements for entry under BSL2 conditions, S has been pseudotyped onto vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) or retroviral particles with varied success. Several alterations to S were demonstrated to improve pseudoparticle titers, but they have not been systematically compared. In this study, we produced pseudotyped VSV particles with multiple modifications to S, including truncation, mutation, and tagging strategies. The main objective of this study was to determine which modifications of the S protein optimize cell surface expression, incorporation into pseudotyped particles, and pseudoparticle entry. Removal of the last 19 residues of the cytoplasmic tail produced a hyper-fusogenic S, while removal of 21 residues increased S surface production and VSV incorporation. Additionally, we engineered a replication-competent VSV (rVSV) virus to produce the S-D614G variant with a truncated cytoplasmic tail. While the particles can be used to assess S entry requirements, the rVSV∆G/SMet1D614G∆21 virus has a poor specific infectivity (particle to infectious titer ratio).


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Virus Replication , Animals , Cell Line , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Fluorescent Antibody Technique , Gene Expression , Genes, Reporter , Genetic Engineering , Giant Cells , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/metabolism , Virus Internalization
10.
Virol J ; 18(1): 16, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024369

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that emerged in 2019 and is now classified in the genus Coronavirus with closely related SARS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 is highly pathogenic in humans and is classified as a biosafety level (BSL)-3 pathogen, which makes manipulating it relatively difficult due to its infectious nature. METHODS: To circumvent the need for BSL-3 laboratories, an alternative assay was developed that avoids live virus and instead uses a recombinant VSV expressing luciferase and possesses the full length or truncated spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, to measure SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies under BSL2 conditions, a chemiluminescence reduction neutralization test (CRNT) for SARS-CoV-2 was developed. The neutralization values of the serum samples collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 PCR-negative donors against the pseudotyped virus infection evaluated by the CRNT were compared with antibody titers determined from an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). RESULTS: The CRNT, which used whole blood collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19, was also examined. As a result, the inhibition of pseudotyped virus infection was specifically observed in both serum and whole blood and was also correlated with the results of the IFA. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the CRNT for COVID-19 is a convenient assay system that can be performed in a BSL-2 laboratory with high specificity and sensitivity for evaluating the occurrence of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Convalescence , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Luminescence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
11.
Viruses ; 12(12)2020 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-979668

ABSTRACT

Viral entry is the first stage in the virus replication cycle and, for enveloped viruses, is mediated by virally encoded glycoproteins. Viral glycoproteins have different receptor affinities and triggering mechanisms. We employed vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a BSL-2 enveloped virus that can incorporate non-native glycoproteins, to examine the entry efficiencies of diverse viral glycoproteins. To compare the glycoprotein-mediated entry efficiencies of VSV glycoprotein (G), Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S), Ebola (EBOV) glycoprotein (GP), Lassa (LASV) GP, and Chikungunya (CHIKV) envelope (E) protein, we produced recombinant VSV (rVSV) viruses that produce the five glycoproteins. The rVSV virions encoded a nano luciferase (NLucP) reporter gene fused to a destabilization domain (PEST), which we used in combination with the live-cell substrate EndurazineTM to monitor viral entry kinetics in real time. Our data indicate that rVSV particles with glycoproteins that require more post-internalization priming typically demonstrate delayed entry in comparison to VSV G. In addition to determining the time required for each virus to complete entry, we also used our system to evaluate viral cell surface receptor preferences, monitor fusion, and elucidate endocytosis mechanisms. This system can be rapidly employed to examine diverse viral glycoproteins and their entry requirements.


Subject(s)
Gene Expression , Genetic Vectors/genetics , Glycoproteins/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Virus Internalization , Animals , Cell Line , Chikungunya virus/genetics , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cloning, Molecular , Ebolavirus/genetics , Gene Order , Genes, Reporter , Humans , Lassa virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Time Factors , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
12.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2105-2113, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-913100

ABSTRACT

The global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disaster for human society. A convenient and reliable neutralization assay is very important for the development of vaccines and novel drugs. In this study, a G protein-deficient vesicular stomatitis virus (VSVdG) bearing a truncated spike protein (S with C-terminal 18 amino acid truncation) was compared to that bearing the full-length spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and showed much higher efficiency. A neutralization assay was established based on VSV-SARS-CoV-2-Sdel18 pseudovirus and hACE2-overexpressing BHK21 cells (BHK21-hACE2 cells). The experimental results can be obtained by automatically counting the number of EGFP-positive cells at 12 h after infection, making the assay convenient and high-throughput. The serum neutralizing titer measured by the VSV-SARS-CoV-2-Sdel18 pseudovirus assay has a good correlation with that measured by the wild type SARS-CoV-2 assay. Seven neutralizing monoclonal antibodies targeting the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein were obtained. This efficient and reliable pseudovirus assay model could facilitate the development of new drugs and vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Neutralization Tests/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/immunology
13.
Cell Rep Med ; 1(8): 100142, 2020 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894264

ABSTRACT

The acid sphingomyelinase/ceramide system plays an important role in bacterial and viral infections. Here, we report that either pharmacological inhibition of acid sphingomyelinase with amitriptyline, imipramine, fluoxetine, sertraline, escitalopram, or maprotiline or genetic downregulation of the enzyme prevents infection of cultured cells or freshy isolated human nasal epithelial cells with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) pseudoviral particles (pp-VSV) presenting SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (pp-VSV-SARS-CoV-2 spike), a bona fide system mimicking SARS-CoV-2 infection. Infection activates acid sphingomyelinase and triggers a release of ceramide on the cell surface. Neutralization or consumption of surface ceramide reduces infection with pp-VSV-SARS-CoV-2 spike. Treating volunteers with a low dose of amitriptyline prevents infection of freshly isolated nasal epithelial cells with pp-VSV-SARS-CoV-2 spike. The data justify clinical studies investigating whether amitriptyline, a safe drug used clinically for almost 60 years, or other antidepressants that functionally block acid sphingomyelinase prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase/antagonists & inhibitors , Amitriptyline/pharmacology , Animals , Antidepressive Agents/pharmacology , Ceramides/antagonists & inhibitors , Ceramides/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Nasal Mucosa/drug effects , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Neutral Ceramidase/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics
14.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2269-2277, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-802019

ABSTRACT

Replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based recombinant viruses are useful tools for studying emerging and highly pathogenic enveloped viruses in level 2 biosafety facilities. Here, we used a replication-competent recombinant VSVs (rVSVs) encoding the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 in place of the original G glycoprotein (rVSV-eGFP-SARS-CoV-2) to develop a high-throughput entry assay for SARS-CoV-2. The S protein was incorporated into the recovered rVSV-eGFP-SARS-CoV-2 particles, which could be neutralized by sera from convalescent COVID-19 patients. The recombinant SARS-CoV-2 also displayed entry characteristics similar to the wild type virus, such as cell tropism and pH-dependence. The neutralizing titers of antibodies and sera measured by rVSV-eGFP-SARS-CoV-2 were highly correlated with those measured by wild-type viruses or pseudoviruses. Therefore, this is a safe and convenient screening tool for SARS-CoV-2, and it may promote the development of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/physiology , Virology/methods , Virus Internalization , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication
15.
J Virol ; 94(21)2020 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-709870

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) Spike glycoprotein is solely responsible for binding to the host cell receptor and facilitating fusion between the viral and host membranes. The ability to generate viral particles pseudotyped with SARS-COV-2 Spike is useful for many types of studies, such as characterization of neutralizing antibodies or development of fusion-inhibiting small molecules. Here, we characterized the use of a codon-optimized SARS-COV-2 Spike glycoprotein for the generation of pseudotyped HIV-1, murine leukemia virus (MLV), and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) particles. The full-length Spike protein functioned inefficiently with all three systems but was enhanced over 10-fold by deleting the last 19 amino acids of the cytoplasmic tail. Infection of 293FT target cells was possible only if the cells were engineered to stably express the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, but stably introducing an additional copy of this receptor did not further enhance susceptibility. Stable introduction of the Spike-activating protease TMPRSS2 further enhanced susceptibility to infection by 5- to 10-fold. Replacement of the signal peptide of the Spike protein with an optimal signal peptide did not enhance or reduce infectious particle production. However, modifications D614G and R682Q further enhanced infectious particle production. With all enhancing elements combined, the titer of pseudotyped HIV-1 particles reached almost 106 infectious particles/ml. Finally, HIV-1 particles pseudotyped with SARS-COV-2 Spike were successfully used to detect neutralizing antibodies in plasma from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, but not in plasma from uninfected individuals.IMPORTANCE In work with pathogenic viruses, it is useful to have rapid quantitative tests for viral infectivity that can be performed without strict biocontainment restrictions. A common way of accomplishing this is to generate viral pseudoparticles that contain the surface glycoprotein from the pathogenic virus incorporated into a replication-defective viral particle that contains a sensitive reporter system. These pseudoparticles enter cells using the glycoprotein from the pathogenic virus, leading to a readout for infection. Conditions that block entry of the pathogenic virus, such as neutralizing antibodies, will also block entry of the viral pseudoparticles. However, viral glycoproteins often are not readily suited for generating pseudoparticles. Here, we describe a series of modifications that result in the production of relatively high-titer SARS-COV-2 pseudoparticles that are suitable for the detection of neutralizing antibodies from COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , HIV-1/genetics , HIV-1/metabolism , Humans , Leukemia Virus, Murine , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/metabolism , Virion/genetics , Virion/immunology , Virion/metabolism , Virus Internalization
16.
Cell Host Microbe ; 28(3): 465-474.e4, 2020 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-710174

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused millions of human infections, and an effective vaccine is critical to mitigate coronavirus-induced disease 2019 (COVID-19). Previously, we developed a replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) expressing a modified form of the SARS-CoV-2 spike gene in place of the native glycoprotein gene (VSV-eGFP-SARS-CoV-2). Here, we show that vaccination with VSV-eGFP-SARS-CoV-2 generates neutralizing immune responses and protects mice from SARS-CoV-2. Immunization of mice with VSV-eGFP-SARS-CoV-2 elicits high antibody titers that neutralize SARS-CoV-2 and target the receptor binding domain that engages human angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2). Upon challenge with a human isolate of SARS-CoV-2, mice that expressed human ACE2 and were immunized with VSV-eGFP-SARS-CoV-2 show profoundly reduced viral infection and inflammation in the lung, indicating protection against pneumonia. Passive transfer of sera from VSV-eGFP-SARS-CoV-2-immunized animals also protects naive mice from SARS-CoV-2 challenge. These data support development of VSV-SARS-CoV-2 as an attenuated, replication-competent vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Viral Vaccines/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Genetic Vectors , Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Transgenic , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/pharmacology , Vero Cells , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Viral Vaccines/pharmacology
17.
J Exp Med ; 217(11)2020 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-697830

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and the ensuing explosive epidemic of COVID-19 disease has generated a need for assays to rapidly and conveniently measure the antiviral activity of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. Here, we describe a collection of approaches based on SARS-CoV-2 spike-pseudotyped, single-cycle, replication-defective human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), as well as a replication-competent VSV/SARS-CoV-2 chimeric virus. While each surrogate virus exhibited subtle differences in the sensitivity with which neutralizing activity was detected, the neutralizing activity of both convalescent plasma and human monoclonal antibodies measured using each virus correlated quantitatively with neutralizing activity measured using an authentic SARS-CoV-2 neutralization assay. The assays described herein are adaptable to high throughput and are useful tools in the evaluation of serologic immunity conferred by vaccination or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the potency of convalescent plasma or human monoclonal antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Immunoassay/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chimera/genetics , Chimera/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/virology , HEK293 Cells , HIV-1/genetics , HIV-1/immunology , Humans , Neutralization Tests/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Recombination, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/immunology
18.
Cell Host Microbe ; 28(3): 486-496.e6, 2020 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-627576

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for vaccines and therapeutics to prevent and treat COVID-19. Rapid SARS-CoV-2 countermeasure development is contingent on the availability of robust, scalable, and readily deployable surrogate viral assays to screen antiviral humoral responses, define correlates of immune protection, and down-select candidate antivirals. Here, we generate a highly infectious recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) bearing the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein S as its sole entry glycoprotein and show that this recombinant virus, rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 S, closely resembles SARS-CoV-2 in its entry-related properties. The neutralizing activities of a large panel of COVID-19 convalescent sera can be assessed in a high-throughput fluorescent reporter assay with rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 S, and neutralization of rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 S and authentic SARS-CoV-2 by spike-specific antibodies in these antisera is highly correlated. Our findings underscore the utility of rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 S for the development of spike-specific therapeutics and for mechanistic studies of viral entry and its inhibition.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Host Microbial Interactions/drug effects , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/physiology , Humans , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics/prevention & control , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/physiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/physiology , Recombination, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Viral Vaccines/genetics , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication/genetics
19.
Cell Host Microbe ; 28(3): 475-485.e5, 2020 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-626409

ABSTRACT

Antibody-based interventions against SARS-CoV-2 could limit morbidity, mortality, and possibly transmission. An anticipated correlate of such countermeasures is the level of neutralizing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which engages with host ACE2 receptor for entry. Using an infectious molecular clone of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) expressing eGFP as a marker of infection, we replaced the glycoprotein gene (G) with the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 (VSV-eGFP-SARS-CoV-2) and developed a high-throughput-imaging-based neutralization assay at biosafety level 2. We also developed a focus-reduction neutralization test with a clinical isolate of SARS-CoV-2 at biosafety level 3. Comparing the neutralizing activities of various antibodies and ACE2-Fc soluble decoy protein in both assays revealed a high degree of concordance. These assays will help define correlates of protection for antibody-based countermeasures and vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, replication-competent VSV-eGFP-SARS-CoV-2 provides a tool for testing inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 mediated entry under reduced biosafety containment.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/immunology , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication
20.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 680-686, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-13830

ABSTRACT

Pseudoviruses are useful virological tools because of their safety and versatility, especially for emerging and re-emerging viruses. Due to its high pathogenicity and infectivity and the lack of effective vaccines and therapeutics, live SARS-CoV-2 has to be handled under biosafety level 3 conditions, which has hindered the development of vaccines and therapeutics. Based on a VSV pseudovirus production system, a pseudovirus-based neutralization assay has been developed for evaluating neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in biosafety level 2 facilities. The key parameters for this assay were optimized, including cell types, cell numbers, virus inoculum. When tested against the SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, SARS-CoV-2 convalescent patient sera showed high neutralizing potency, which underscore its potential as therapeutics. The limit of detection for this assay was determined as 22.1 and 43.2 for human and mouse serum samples respectively using a panel of 120 negative samples. The cutoff values were set as 30 and 50 for human and mouse serum samples, respectively. This assay showed relatively low coefficient of variations with 15.9% and 16.2% for the intra- and inter-assay analyses respectively. Taken together, we established a robust pseudovirus-based neutralization assay for SARS-CoV-2 and are glad to share pseudoviruses and related protocols with the developers of vaccines or therapeutics to fight against this lethal virus.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Immune Sera/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Limit of Detection , Membrane Glycoproteins/immunology , Mice , Plasmids , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology , Virus Internalization
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