Publications by authors named "Katherine McMahan"

28 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A modular protein subunit vaccine candidate produced in yeast confers protection against SARS-CoV-2 in non-human primates.

bioRxiv 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 have been distributed at massive scale in developed countries, and have been effective at preventing COVID-19. Access to vaccines is limited, however, in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) due to insufficient supply, high costs, and cold storage requirements. New vaccines that can be produced in existing manufacturing facilities in LMICs, can be manufactured at low cost, and use widely available, proven, safe adjuvants like alum, would improve global immunity against SARS-CoV-2. One such protein subunit vaccine is produced by the Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. and is currently in clinical testing. Two protein components, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) and hepatitis B surface antigen virus-like particles (VLPs), are each produced in yeast, which would enable a low-cost, high-volume manufacturing process. Here, we describe the design and preclinical testing of the RBD-VLP vaccine in cynomolgus macaques. We observed titers of neutralizing antibodies (>10 ) above the range of protection for other licensed vaccines in non-human primates. Interestingly, addition of a second adjuvant (CpG1018) appeared to improve the cellular response while reducing the humoral response. We challenged animals with SARS-CoV-2, and observed a ~3.4 and ~2.9 log reduction in median viral loads in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal mucosa, respectively, compared to sham controls. These results inform the design and formulation of current clinical COVID-19 vaccine candidates like the one described here, and future designs of RBD-based vaccines against variants of SARS-CoV-2 or other betacoronaviruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.13.452251DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8288147PMC
July 2021

Durable Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses Following Ad26.COV2.S Vaccination for COVID-19.

medRxiv 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Interim immunogenicity and efficacy data for the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine for COVID-19 have recently been reported . We describe here the 8-month durability of humoral and cellular immune responses in 20 individuals who received one or two doses of 5Ã-10 vp or 10 vp Ad26.COV2.S and in 5 participants who received placebo . We evaluated antibody and T cell responses on day 239, which was 8 months after the single-shot vaccine regimen (N=10) or 6 months after the two-shot vaccine regimen (N=10), although the present study was not powered to compare these regimens . We also report neutralizing antibody responses against the parental SARS-CoV-2 WA1/2020 strain as well as against the SARS-CoV-2 variants D614G, B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.617.1 (kappa), B.1.617.2 (delta), P.1 (gamma), B.1.429 (epsilon), and B.1.351 (beta).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.05.21259918DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8282116PMC
July 2021

Protective efficacy of Ad26.COV2.S against SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 in macaques.

Nature 2021 Jun 23. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Bioqual, Rockville, MD, USA.

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants that partially evade neutralizing antibodies poses a threat to the efficacy of current COVID-19 vaccines. The Ad26.COV2.S vaccine expresses a stabilized spike protein from the WA1/2020 strain of SARS-CoV-2, and has recently demonstrated protective efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 in humans in several geographical regions-including in South Africa, where 95% of sequenced viruses in cases of COVID-19 were the B.1.351 variant. Here we show that Ad26.COV2.S elicits humoral and cellular immune responses that cross-react with the B.1.351 variant and protects against B.1.351 challenge in rhesus macaques. Ad26.COV2.S induced lower binding and neutralizing antibodies against B.1.351 as compared to WA1/2020, but elicited comparable CD8 and CD4 T cell responses against the WA1/2020, B.1.351, B.1.1.7, P.1 and CAL.20C variants. B.1.351 infection of control rhesus macaques resulted in higher levels of virus replication in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal swabs than did WA1/2020 infection. Ad26.COV2.S provided robust protection against both WA1/2020 and B.1.351, although we observed higher levels of virus in vaccinated macaques after B.1.351 challenge. These data demonstrate that Ad26.COV2.S provided robust protection against B.1.351 challenge in rhesus macaques. Our findings have important implications for vaccine control of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03732-8DOI Listing
June 2021

Protective efficacy of rhesus adenovirus COVID-19 vaccines against mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2.

bioRxiv 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has sparked intense interest in the rapid development of vaccines as well as animal models to evaluate vaccine candidates and to define immune correlates of protection. We recently reported a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 virus strain (MA10) with the potential to infect wild-type laboratory mice, driving high levels of viral replication in respiratory tract tissues as well as severe clinical and respiratory symptoms, aspects of COVID-19 disease in humans that are important to capture in model systems. We evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of novel rhesus adenovirus serotype 52 (RhAd52) vaccines against MA10 challenge in mice. Baseline seroprevalence is lower for rhesus adenovirus vectors than for human or chimpanzee adenovirus vectors, making these vectors attractive candidates for vaccine development. We observed that RhAd52 vaccines elicited robust binding and neutralizing antibody titers, which inversely correlated with viral replication after challenge. These data support the development of RhAd52 vaccines and the use of the MA10 challenge virus to screen novel vaccine candidates and to study the immunologic mechanisms that underscore protection from SARS-CoV-2 challenge in wild-type mice.

Importance: We have developed a series of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines using rhesus adenovirus serotype 52 (RhAd52) vectors, which exhibits a lower seroprevalence than human and chimpanzee vectors, supporting their development as novel vaccine vectors or as an alternative Ad vector for boosting. We sought to test these vaccines using a recently reported mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 (MA10) virus to i) evaluate the protective efficacy of RhAd52 vaccines and ii) further characterize this mouse-adapted challenge model and probe immune correlates of protection. We demonstrate RhAd52 vaccines elicit robust SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses and protect against clinical disease and viral replication in the lungs. Further, binding and neutralizing antibody titers correlated with protective efficacy. These data validate the MA10 mouse model as a useful tool to screen and study novel vaccine candidates, as well as the development of RhAd52 vaccines for COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.06.14.448461DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8219099PMC
June 2021

Low-dose Ad26.COV2.S protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in rhesus macaques.

Cell 2021 06 1;184(13):3467-3473.e11. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Bioqual, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.

We previously reported that a single immunization with an adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26)-vector-based vaccine expressing an optimized SARS-CoV-2 spike (Ad26.COV2.S) protected rhesus macaques against SARS-CoV-2 challenge. To evaluate reduced doses of Ad26.COV2.S, 30 rhesus macaques were immunized once with 1 × 10, 5 × 10, 1.125 × 10, or 2 × 10 viral particles (vp) Ad26.COV2.S or sham and were challenged with SARS-CoV-2. Vaccine doses as low as 2 × 10 vp provided robust protection in bronchoalveolar lavage, whereas doses of 1.125 × 10 vp were required for protection in nasal swabs. Activated memory B cells and binding or neutralizing antibody titers following vaccination correlated with protective efficacy. At suboptimal vaccine doses, viral breakthrough was observed but did not show enhancement of disease. These data demonstrate that a single immunization with relatively low dose of Ad26.COV2.S effectively protected against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in rhesus macaques, although a higher vaccine dose may be required for protection in the upper respiratory tract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.05.040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8166510PMC
June 2021

Immunogenicity of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 variants in humans.

Nature 2021 Jun 9. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Janssen Vaccines & Prevention, Leiden, The Netherlands.

The Ad26.COV2.S vaccine has demonstrated clinical efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19, including against the B.1.351 variant that is partially resistant to neutralizing antibodies. However, the immunogenicity of this vaccine in humans against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern remains unclear. Here we report humoral and cellular immune responses from 20 Ad26.COV2.S vaccinated individuals from the COV1001 phase I-IIa clinical trial against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain WA1/2020 as well as against the B.1.1.7, CAL.20C, P.1 and B.1.351 variants of concern. Ad26.COV2.S induced median pseudovirus neutralizing antibody titres that were 5.0-fold and 3.3-fold lower against the B.1.351 and P.1 variants, respectively, as compared with WA1/2020 on day 71 after vaccination. Median binding antibody titres were 2.9-fold and 2.7-fold lower against the B.1.351 and P.1 variants, respectively, as compared with WA1/2020. Antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis, complement deposition and natural killer cell activation responses were largely preserved against the B.1.351 variant. CD8 and CD4 T cell responses, including central and effector memory responses, were comparable among the WA1/2020, B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1 and CAL.20C variants. These data show that neutralizing antibody responses induced by Ad26.COV2.S were reduced against the B.1.351 and P.1 variants, but functional non-neutralizing antibody responses and T cell responses were largely preserved against SARS-CoV-2 variants. These findings have implications for vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03681-2DOI Listing
June 2021

Immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines in Pregnant and Lactating Women.

JAMA 2021 06;325(23):2370-2380

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Pregnant women are at increased risk of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 but have been excluded from the phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials. Data on vaccine safety and immunogenicity in these populations are therefore limited.

Objective: To evaluate the immunogenicity of COVID-19 messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines in pregnant and lactating women, including against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.

Design, Setting, And Participants: An exploratory, descriptive, prospective cohort study enrolled 103 women who received a COVID-19 vaccine from December 2020 through March 2021 and 28 women who had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection from April 2020 through March 2021 (the last follow-up date was March 26, 2021). This study enrolled 30 pregnant, 16 lactating, and 57 neither pregnant nor lactating women who received either the mRNA-1273 (Moderna) or BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) COVID-19 vaccines and 22 pregnant and 6 nonpregnant unvaccinated women with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Main Outcomes And Measures: SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain binding, neutralizing, and functional nonneutralizing antibody responses from pregnant, lactating, and nonpregnant women were assessed following vaccination. Spike-specific T-cell responses were evaluated using IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot and multiparameter intracellular cytokine-staining assays. Humoral and cellular immune responses were determined against the original SARS-CoV-2 USA-WA1/2020 strain as well as against the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants.

Results: This study enrolled 103 women aged 18 to 45 years (66% non-Hispanic White) who received a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. After the second vaccine dose, fever was reported in 4 pregnant women (14%; SD, 6%), 7 lactating women (44%; SD, 12%), and 27 nonpregnant women (52%; SD, 7%). Binding, neutralizing, and functional nonneutralizing antibody responses as well as CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses were present in pregnant, lactating, and nonpregnant women following vaccination. Binding and neutralizing antibodies were also observed in infant cord blood and breast milk. Binding and neutralizing antibody titers against the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants of concern were reduced, but T-cell responses were preserved against viral variants.

Conclusion And Relevance: In this exploratory analysis of a convenience sample, receipt of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine was immunogenic in pregnant women, and vaccine-elicited antibodies were transported to infant cord blood and breast milk. Pregnant and nonpregnant women who were vaccinated developed cross-reactive antibody responses and T-cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.7563DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8120446PMC
June 2021

Correlates of Neutralization against SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern by Early Pandemic Sera.

J Virol 2021 06 24;95(14):e0040421. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern that overcome natural and vaccine-induced immunity threaten to exacerbate the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasing evidence suggests that neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses are a primary mechanism of protection against infection. However, little is known about the extent and mechanisms by which natural immunity acquired during the early COVID-19 pandemic confers cross-neutralization of emerging variants. In this study, we investigated cross-neutralization of the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 SARS-CoV-2 variants in a well-characterized cohort of early pandemic convalescent subjects. We observed modestly decreased cross-neutralization of B.1.1.7 but a substantial 4.8-fold reduction in cross-neutralization of B.1.351. Correlates of cross-neutralization included receptor binding domain (RBD) and N-terminal domain (NTD) binding antibodies, homologous NAb titers, and membrane-directed T cell responses. These data shed light on the cross-neutralization of emerging variants by early pandemic convalescent immune responses. Widespread immunity to SARS-CoV-2 will be necessary to end the COVID-19 pandemic. NAb responses are a critical component of immunity that can be stimulated by natural infection as well as vaccines. However, SARS-CoV-2 variants are emerging that contain mutations in the spike gene that promote evasion from NAb responses. These variants may therefore delay control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We studied whether NAb responses from early COVID-19 convalescent patients are effective against the two SARS-CoV-2 variants, B.1.1.7 and B.1.351. We observed that the B.1.351 variant demonstrates significantly reduced susceptibility to early pandemic NAb responses. We additionally characterized virological, immunological, and clinical features that correlate with cross-neutralization. These studies increase our understanding of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00404-21DOI Listing
June 2021

Immunogenicity of the Ad26.COV2.S Vaccine for COVID-19.

JAMA 2021 04;325(15):1535-1544

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Control of the global COVID-19 pandemic will require the development and deployment of safe and effective vaccines.

Objective: To evaluate the immunogenicity of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) in humans, including the kinetics, magnitude, and phenotype of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific humoral and cellular immune responses.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Twenty-five participants were enrolled from July 29, 2020, to August 7, 2020, and the follow-up for this day 71 interim analysis was completed on October 3, 2020; follow-up to assess durability will continue for 2 years. This study was conducted at a single clinical site in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 clinical trial of Ad26.COV2.S.

Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive 1 or 2 intramuscular injections with 5 × 1010 viral particles or 1 × 1011 viral particles of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine or placebo administered on day 1 and day 57 (5 participants in each group).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Humoral immune responses included binding and neutralizing antibody responses at multiple time points following immunization. Cellular immune responses included immunospot-based and intracellular cytokine staining assays to measure T-cell responses.

Results: Twenty-five participants were randomized (median age, 42; age range, 22-52; 52% women, 44% male, 4% undifferentiated), and all completed the trial through the day 71 interim end point. Binding and neutralizing antibodies emerged rapidly by day 8 after initial immunization in 90% and 25% of vaccine recipients, respectively. By day 57, binding and neutralizing antibodies were detected in 100% of vaccine recipients after a single immunization. On day 71, the geometric mean titers of spike-specific binding antibodies were 2432 to 5729 and the geometric mean titers of neutralizing antibodies were 242 to 449 in the vaccinated groups. A variety of antibody subclasses, Fc receptor binding properties, and antiviral functions were induced. CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses were induced.

Conclusion And Relevance: In this phase 1 study, a single immunization with Ad26.COV2.S induced rapid binding and neutralization antibody responses as well as cellular immune responses. Two phase 3 clinical trials are currently underway to determine the efficacy of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04436276.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.3645DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7953339PMC
April 2021

Coronavirus-Specific Antibody Cross Reactivity in Rhesus Macaques Following SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination and Infection.

J Virol 2021 Mar 10. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Vaccines are being rapidly developed with the goal of ending the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. However, the extent to which SARS-CoV-2 vaccination induces serum responses that cross-react with other coronaviruses remains poorly studied. Here we define serum profiles in rhesus macaques after vaccination with DNA or Ad26 based vaccines expressing SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein followed by SARS-CoV-2 challenge, or SARS-CoV-2 infection alone. Analysis of serum responses showed robust reactivity to the SARS-CoV-2 full-length Spike protein and receptor binding domain (RBD), both included in the vaccine. However, serum cross-reactivity to the closely related sarbecovirus SARS-CoV-1 Spike and RBD, was reduced. Reactivity was also measured to the distantly related common cold alpha-coronavirus, 229E and NL63, and beta-coronavirus, OC43 and HKU1, Spike proteins. Using SARS-COV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 lentivirus based pseudoviruses, we show that neutralizing antibody responses were predominantly SARS-CoV-2 specific. These data define patterns of cross-reactive binding and neutralizing serum responses induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination in rhesus macaques. Our observations have important implications for understanding polyclonal responses to SARS-CoV-2 Spike, which will facilitate future CoV vaccine assessment and development.The rapid development and deployment of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines has been unprecedented. In this study, we explore the cross-reactivity of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibody responses to other coronaviruses. By analyzing responses from NHPs both before and after immunization with DNA or Ad26 vectored vaccines, we find patterns of cross reactivity that mirror those induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection. These data highlight the similarities between infection and vaccine induced humoral immunity for SARS-CoV-2 and cross-reactivity of these responses to other CoVs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00117-21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8139699PMC
March 2021

Engineered SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain improves immunogenicity in mice and elicits protective immunity in hamsters.

bioRxiv 2021 Mar 4. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Global containment of COVID-19 still requires accessible and affordable vaccines for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Recently approved vaccines provide needed interventions, albeit at prices that may limit their global access. Subunit vaccines based on recombinant proteins are suited for large-volume microbial manufacturing to yield billions of doses annually, minimizing their manufacturing costs. These types of vaccines are well-established, proven interventions with multiple safe and efficacious commercial examples. Many vaccine candidates of this type for SARS-CoV-2 rely on sequences containing the receptor-binding domain (RBD), which mediates viral entry to cells via ACE2. Here we report an engineered sequence variant of RBD that exhibits high-yield manufacturability, high-affinity binding to ACE2, and enhanced immunogenicity after a single dose in mice compared to the Wuhan-Hu-1 variant used in current vaccines. Antibodies raised against the engineered protein exhibited heterotypic binding to the RBD from two recently reported SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (501Y.V1/V2). Presentation of the engineered RBD on a designed virus-like particle (VLP) also reduced weight loss in hamsters upon viral challenge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.03.433558DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7941618PMC
March 2021

Persistence of viral RNA in lymph nodes in ART-suppressed SIV/SHIV-infected Rhesus Macaques.

Nat Commun 2021 03 5;12(1):1474. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.

The establishment of a long-lived viral reservoir is the key obstacle for achieving an HIV-1 cure. However, the anatomic, virologic, and immunologic features of the viral reservoir in tissues during antiretroviral therapy (ART) remain poorly understood. Here we present a comprehensive necroscopic analysis of the SIV/SHIV viral reservoir in multiple lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues from SIV/SHIV-infected rhesus macaques suppressed with ART for one year. Viral DNA is observed broadly in multiple tissues and is comparable in animals that had initiated ART at week 1 or week 52 of infection. In contrast, viral RNA is restricted primarily to lymph nodes. Ongoing viral RNA transcription is not the result of unsuppressed viral replication, as single-genome amplification and subsequent phylogenetic analysis do not show evidence of viral evolution. Gag-specific CD8+ T cell responses are predominantly observed in secondary lymphoid organs in animals chronically infected prior to ART and these responses are dominated by CD69+ populations. Overall, we observe that the viral reservoir in rhesus macaques is widely distributed across multiple tissue sites and that lymphoid tissues act as a site of persistent viral RNA transcription under conditions of long-term ART suppression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21724-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7935896PMC
March 2021

Low-Dose Ad26.COV2.S Protection Against SARS-CoV-2 Challenge in Rhesus Macaques.

bioRxiv 2021 Jan 27. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

We previously reported that a single immunization with an adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector-based vaccine expressing an optimized SARS-CoV-2 spike (Ad26.COV2.S) protected rhesus macaques against SARS-CoV-2 challenge. In this study, we evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of reduced doses of Ad26.COV2.S. 30 rhesus macaques were immunized once with 1×10 , 5×10 , 1.125×10 , or 2×10 vp Ad26.COV2.S or sham and were challenged with SARS-CoV-2 by the intranasal and intratracheal routes. Vaccine doses as low as 2×10 vp provided robust protection in bronchoalveolar lavage, whereas doses of 1.125×10 vp were required for protection in nasal swabs. Activated memory B cells as well as binding and neutralizing antibody titers following vaccination correlated with protective efficacy. At suboptimal vaccine doses, viral breakthrough was observed but did not show evidence of virologic, immunologic, histopathologic, or clinical enhancement of disease compared with sham controls. These data demonstrate that a single immunization with a relatively low dose of Ad26.COV2.S effectively protected against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in rhesus macaques. Moreover, our findings show that a higher vaccine dose may be required for protection in the upper respiratory tract compared with the lower respiratory tract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.27.428380DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7852276PMC
January 2021

Correlates of protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques.

Nature 2021 02 4;590(7847):630-634. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Recent studies have reported the protective efficacy of both natural and vaccine-induced immunity against challenge with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in rhesus macaques. However, the importance of humoral and cellular immunity for protection against infection with SARS-CoV-2 remains to be determined. Here we show that the adoptive transfer of purified IgG from convalescent rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) protects naive recipient macaques against challenge with SARS-CoV-2 in a dose-dependent fashion. Depletion of CD8 T cells in convalescent macaques partially abrogated the protective efficacy of natural immunity against rechallenge with SARS-CoV-2, which suggests a role for cellular immunity in the context of waning or subprotective antibody titres. These data demonstrate that relatively low antibody titres are sufficient for protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques, and that cellular immune responses may contribute to protection if antibody responses are suboptimal. We also show that higher antibody titres are required for treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection in macaques. These findings have implications for the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and immune-based therapeutic agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-03041-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7906955PMC
February 2021

Passive Transfer of Vaccine-Elicited Antibodies Protects against SIV in Rhesus Macaques.

Cell 2020 10;183(1):185-196.e14

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Electronic address:

Several HIV-1 and SIV vaccine candidates have shown partial protection against viral challenges in rhesus macaques. However, the protective efficacy of vaccine-elicited polyclonal antibodies has not previously been demonstrated in adoptive transfer studies in nonhuman primates. In this study, we show that passive transfer of purified antibodies from vaccinated macaques can protect naive animals against SIVmac251 challenges. We vaccinated 30 rhesus macaques with Ad26-SIV Env/Gag/Pol and SIV Env gp140 protein vaccines and assessed the induction of antibody responses and a putative protective signature. This signature included multiple antibody functions and correlated with upregulation of interferon pathways in vaccinated animals. Adoptive transfer of purified immunoglobulin G (IgG) from the vaccinated animals with the most robust protective signatures provided partial protection against SIVmac251 challenges in naive recipient rhesus macaques. These data demonstrate the protective efficacy of purified vaccine-elicited antiviral antibodies in this model, even in the absence of virus neutralization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.08.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7534693PMC
October 2020

Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 severe clinical disease in hamsters.

Nat Med 2020 11 3;26(11):1694-1700. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans is often a clinically mild illness, but some individuals develop severe pneumonia, respiratory failure and death. Studies of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in hamsters and nonhuman primates have generally reported mild clinical disease, and preclinical SARS-CoV-2 vaccine studies have demonstrated reduction of viral replication in the upper and lower respiratory tracts in nonhuman primates. Here we show that high-dose intranasal SARS-CoV-2 infection in hamsters results in severe clinical disease, including high levels of virus replication in tissues, extensive pneumonia, weight loss and mortality in a subset of animals. A single immunization with an adenovirus serotype 26 vector-based vaccine expressing a stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein elicited binding and neutralizing antibody responses and protected against SARS-CoV-2-induced weight loss, pneumonia and mortality. These data demonstrate vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 clinical disease. This model should prove useful for preclinical studies of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, therapeutics and pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-1070-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7671939PMC
November 2020

Single-shot Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques.

Nature 2020 10 30;586(7830):583-588. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

A safe and effective vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may be required to end the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. For global deployment and pandemic control, a vaccine that requires only a single immunization would be optimal. Here we show the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a single dose of adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector-based vaccines expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein in non-human primates. Fifty-two rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) were immunized with Ad26 vectors that encoded S variants or sham control, and then challenged with SARS-CoV-2 by the intranasal and intratracheal routes. The optimal Ad26 vaccine induced robust neutralizing antibody responses and provided complete or near-complete protection in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal swabs after SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Titres of vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies correlated with protective efficacy, suggesting an immune correlate of protection. These data demonstrate robust single-shot vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 in non-human primates. The optimal Ad26 vector-based vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, termed Ad26.COV2.S, is currently being evaluated in clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2607-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7581548PMC
October 2020

SARS-CoV-2 infection protects against rechallenge in rhesus macaques.

Science 2020 08 20;369(6505):812-817. Epub 2020 May 20.

Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV, Leiden, Netherlands.

An understanding of protective immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is critical for vaccine and public health strategies aimed at ending the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. A key unanswered question is whether infection with SARS-CoV-2 results in protective immunity against reexposure. We developed a rhesus macaque model of SARS-CoV-2 infection and observed that macaques had high viral loads in the upper and lower respiratory tract, humoral and cellular immune responses, and pathologic evidence of viral pneumonia. After the initial viral clearance, animals were rechallenged with SARS-CoV-2 and showed 5 log reductions in median viral loads in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal mucosa compared with after the primary infection. Anamnestic immune responses after rechallenge suggested that protection was mediated by immunologic control. These data show that SARS-CoV-2 infection induced protective immunity against reexposure in nonhuman primates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abc4776DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7243369PMC
August 2020

DNA vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques.

Science 2020 08 20;369(6505):806-811. Epub 2020 May 20.

Bioqual, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has made the development of a vaccine a top biomedical priority. In this study, we developed a series of DNA vaccine candidates expressing different forms of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and evaluated them in 35 rhesus macaques. Vaccinated animals developed humoral and cellular immune responses, including neutralizing antibody titers at levels comparable to those found in convalescent humans and macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2. After vaccination, all animals were challenged with SARS-CoV-2, and the vaccine encoding the full-length S protein resulted in >3.1 and >3.7 log reductions in median viral loads in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal mucosa, respectively, as compared with viral loads in sham controls. Vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibody titers correlated with protective efficacy, suggesting an immune correlate of protection. These data demonstrate vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 in nonhuman primates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abc6284DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7243363PMC
August 2020

Lack of therapeutic efficacy of an antibody to αβ in SIVmac251-infected rhesus macaques.

Science 2019 09 5;365(6457):1029-1033. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Sustained virologic control of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection after discontinuation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a major goal of the HIV-1 cure field. A recent study reported that administration of an antibody against αβ induced durable virologic control after ART discontinuation in 100% of rhesus macaques infected with an attenuated strain of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) containing a stop codon in We performed similar studies in 50 rhesus macaques infected with wild-type, pathogenic SIVmac251. In animals that initiated ART during either acute or chronic infection, anti-αβ antibody infusion had no detectable effect on the viral reservoir or viral rebound after ART discontinuation. These data demonstrate that anti-αβ antibody administration did not provide therapeutic efficacy in the model of pathogenic SIVmac251 infection of rhesus macaques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaw8562DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6768629PMC
September 2019

HIV-1 Neutralizing Antibody Signatures and Application to Epitope-Targeted Vaccine Design.

Cell Host Microbe 2019 01;25(1):59-72.e8

Division of Molecular Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Eliciting HIV-1-specific broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) remains a challenge for vaccine development, and the potential of passively delivered bNAbs for prophylaxis and therapeutics is being explored. We used neutralization data from four large virus panels to comprehensively map viral signatures associated with bNAb sensitivity, including amino acids, hypervariable region characteristics, and clade effects across four different classes of bNAbs. The bNAb signatures defined for the variable loop 2 (V2) epitope region of HIV-1 Env were then employed to inform immunogen design in a proof-of-concept exploration of signature-based epitope targeted (SET) vaccines. V2 bNAb signature-guided mutations were introduced into Env 459C to create a trivalent vaccine, and immunization of guinea pigs with V2-SET vaccines resulted in increased breadth of NAb responses compared with Env 459C alone. These data demonstrate that bNAb signatures can be utilized to engineer HIV-1 Env vaccine immunogens capable of eliciting antibody responses with greater neutralization breadth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2018.12.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6331341PMC
January 2019

Publisher Correction: Antibody and TLR7 agonist delay viral rebound in SHIV-infected monkeys.

Nature 2018 12;564(7734):E8

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

In Fig. 4b of this Article, the x-axis labels 'PGT121' and 'GS-9620' were inadvertently swapped in both graphs. In Fig. 5a, b, 'TLR7' should have been 'GS-9620'. These figures have been corrected online.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0721-yDOI Listing
December 2018

Antibody and TLR7 agonist delay viral rebound in SHIV-infected monkeys.

Nature 2018 11 3;563(7731):360-364. Epub 2018 Oct 3.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

The latent viral reservoir is the critical barrier for the development of a cure for HIV-1 infection. Previous studies have shown direct antiviral activity of potent HIV-1 Env-specific broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) administered when antiretroviral therapy (ART) was discontinued, but it remains unclear whether bNAbs can target the viral reservoir during ART. Here we show that administration of the V3 glycan-dependent bNAb PGT121 together with the Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist vesatolimod (GS-9620) during ART delayed viral rebound following discontinuation of ART in simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)-SF162P3-infected rhesus monkeys in which ART was initiated during early acute infection. Moreover, in the subset of monkeys that were treated with both PGT121 and GS-9620 and that did not show viral rebound after discontinuation of ART, adoptive transfer studies and CD8-depletion studies also did not reveal virus. These data demonstrate the potential of bNAb administration together with innate immune stimulation as a possible strategy for targeting the viral reservoir.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0600-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6237629PMC
November 2018

Protection against a mixed SHIV challenge by a broadly neutralizing antibody cocktail.

Sci Transl Med 2017 Sep;9(408)

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

HIV-1 sequence diversity presents a major challenge for the clinical development of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) for both therapy and prevention. Sequence variation in critical bNAb epitopes has been observed in most HIV-1-infected individuals and can lead to viral escape after bNAb monotherapy in humans. We show that viral sequence diversity can limit both the therapeutic and prophylactic efficacy of bNAbs in rhesus monkeys. We first demonstrate that monotherapy with the V3 glycan-dependent antibody 10-1074, but not PGT121, results in rapid selection of preexisting viral variants containing N332/S334 escape mutations and loss of therapeutic efficacy in simian-HIV (SHIV)-SF162P3-infected rhesus monkeys. We then show that the V3 glycan-dependent antibody PGT121 alone and the V2 glycan-dependent antibody PGDM1400 alone both fail to protect against a mixed challenge with SHIV-SF162P3 and SHIV-325c. In contrast, the combination of both bNAbs provides 100% protection against this mixed SHIV challenge. These data reveal that single bNAbs efficiently select resistant viruses from a diverse challenge swarm to establish infection, demonstrating the importance of bNAb cocktails for HIV-1 prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aao4235DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5747528PMC
September 2017

Identification of a possible respiratory arsenate reductase in Denitrovibrio acetiphilus, a member of the phylum Deferribacteres.

Arch Microbiol 2013 Sep 18;195(9):661-70. Epub 2013 Aug 18.

Department of Biology, Clark University, 15 Maywood Street, Worcester, MA 01501, USA.

Denitrovibrio acetiphilus N2460(T) is one of the few members of the phylum Deferribacteres with a sequenced genome. N2460(T) was capable of growing with dimethyl sulfoxide, selenate, or arsenate provided as a terminal electron acceptor, and we identified 15 genes that could possibly encode respiratory reductases for these compounds. The protein encoded by one of these genes, YP_003504839, clustered with respiratory arsenate reductases on a phylogenetic tree. Transcription of the gene for YP_003504839, Dacet_2121, was highly induced when arsenate was provided as a terminal electron acceptor. Dacet_2121 exists in a possible operon that is distinct from the previously characterized respiratory arsenate reductase operon in Shewanella sp. ANA-3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00203-013-0915-5DOI Listing
September 2013