Publications by authors named "Teresa Lambe"

82 Publications

Recombinant protein vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.

Lancet Infect Dis 2021 Apr 19. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Jenner Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(21)00227-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8055202PMC
April 2021

Antibody evasion by the P.1 strain of SARS-CoV-2.

Cell 2021 Mar 30. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Jenner Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Terminating the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic relies upon pan-global vaccination. Current vaccines elicit neutralizing antibody responses to the virus spike derived from early isolates. However, new strains have emerged with multiple mutations, including P.1 from Brazil, B.1.351 from South Africa, and B.1.1.7 from the UK (12, 10, and 9 changes in the spike, respectively). All have mutations in the ACE2 binding site, with P.1 and B.1.351 having a virtually identical triplet (E484K, K417N/T, and N501Y), which we show confer similar increased affinity for ACE2. We show that, surprisingly, P.1 is significantly less resistant to naturally acquired or vaccine-induced antibody responses than B.1.351, suggesting that changes outside the receptor-binding domain (RBD) impact neutralization. Monoclonal antibody (mAb) 222 neutralizes all three variants despite interacting with two of the ACE2-binding site mutations. We explain this through structural analysis and use the 222 light chain to largely restore neutralization potency to a major class of public antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.03.055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8008340PMC
March 2021

T cell assays differentiate clinical and subclinical SARS-CoV-2 infections from cross-reactive antiviral responses.

Nat Commun 2021 04 6;12(1):2055. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Identification of protective T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 requires distinguishing people infected with SARS-CoV-2 from those with cross-reactive immunity to other coronaviruses. Here we show a range of T cell assays that differentially capture immune function to characterise SARS-CoV-2 responses. Strong ex vivo ELISpot and proliferation responses to multiple antigens (including M, NP and ORF3) are found in 168 PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infected volunteers, but are rare in 119 uninfected volunteers. Highly exposed seronegative healthcare workers with recent COVID-19-compatible illness show T cell response patterns characteristic of infection. By contrast, >90% of convalescent or unexposed people show proliferation and cellular lactate responses to spike subunits S1/S2, indicating pre-existing cross-reactive T cell populations. The detection of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 is therefore critically dependent on assay and antigen selection. Memory responses to specific non-spike proteins provide a method to distinguish recent infection from pre-existing immunity in exposed populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21856-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8024333PMC
April 2021

The Integration of Human and Veterinary Studies for Better Understanding and Management of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever.

Front Immunol 2021 18;12:629636. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

The Jenner Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Outbreaks that occur as a result of zoonotic spillover from an animal reservoir continue to highlight the importance of studying the disease interface between species. One Health approaches recognise the interdependence of human and animal health and the environmental interplay. Improving the understanding and prevention of zoonotic diseases may be achieved through greater consideration of these relationships, potentially leading to better health outcomes across species. In this review, special emphasis is given on the emerging and outbreak pathogen Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever virus (CCHFV) that can cause severe disease in humans. We discuss the efforts undertaken to better understand CCHF and the importance of integrating veterinary and human research for this pathogen. Furthermore, we consider the use of closely related nairoviruses to model human disease caused by CCHFV. We discuss intervention approaches with potential application for managing CCHFV spread, and how this concept may benefit both animal and human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.629636DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8012513PMC
March 2021

Efficacy of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern 202012/01 (B.1.1.7): an exploratory analysis of a randomised controlled trial.

Lancet 2021 04 30;397(10282):1351-1362. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: A new variant of SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.7, emerged as the dominant cause of COVID-19 disease in the UK from November, 2020. We report a post-hoc analysis of the efficacy of the adenoviral vector vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222), against this variant.

Methods: Volunteers (aged ≥18 years) who were enrolled in phase 2/3 vaccine efficacy studies in the UK, and who were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or a meningococcal conjugate control (MenACWY) vaccine, provided upper airway swabs on a weekly basis and also if they developed symptoms of COVID-19 disease (a cough, a fever of 37·8°C or higher, shortness of breath, anosmia, or ageusia). Swabs were tested by nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) for SARS-CoV-2 and positive samples were sequenced through the COVID-19 Genomics UK consortium. Neutralising antibody responses were measured using a live-virus microneutralisation assay against the B.1.1.7 lineage and a canonical non-B.1.1.7 lineage (Victoria). The efficacy analysis included symptomatic COVID-19 in seronegative participants with a NAAT positive swab more than 14 days after a second dose of vaccine. Participants were analysed according to vaccine received. Vaccine efficacy was calculated as 1 - relative risk (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vs MenACWY groups) derived from a robust Poisson regression model. This study is continuing and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04400838, and ISRCTN, 15281137.

Findings: Participants in efficacy cohorts were recruited between May 31 and Nov 13, 2020, and received booster doses between Aug 3 and Dec 30, 2020. Of 8534 participants in the primary efficacy cohort, 6636 (78%) were aged 18-55 years and 5065 (59%) were female. Between Oct 1, 2020, and Jan 14, 2021, 520 participants developed SARS-CoV-2 infection. 1466 NAAT positive nose and throat swabs were collected from these participants during the trial. Of these, 401 swabs from 311 participants were successfully sequenced. Laboratory virus neutralisation activity by vaccine-induced antibodies was lower against the B.1.1.7 variant than against the Victoria lineage (geometric mean ratio 8·9, 95% CI 7·2-11·0). Clinical vaccine efficacy against symptomatic NAAT positive infection was 70·4% (95% CI 43·6-84·5) for B.1.1.7 and 81·5% (67·9-89·4) for non-B.1.1.7 lineages.

Interpretation: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 showed reduced neutralisation activity against the B.1.1.7 variant compared with a non-B.1.1.7 variant in vitro, but the vaccine showed efficacy against the B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2.

Funding: UK Research and Innovation, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midlands NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00628-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8009612PMC
April 2021

ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) protects hamsters against SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 and B.1.1.7 disease.

bioRxiv 2021 Mar 15. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

We investigated ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 in Syrian hamsters. We previously showed protection against SARS-CoV-2 disease and pneumonia in hamsters vaccinated with a single dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Here, we observed a 9.5-fold reduction of virus neutralizing antibody titer in vaccinated hamster sera against B.1.351 compared to B.1.1.7. Vaccinated hamsters challenged with B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 did not lose weight compared to control animals. In contrast to control animals, the lungs of vaccinated animals did not show any gross lesions. Minimal to no viral subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) and no infectious virus was detected in lungs of vaccinated animals. Histopathological evaluation showed extensive pulmonary pathology caused by B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 replication in the control animals, but none in the vaccinated animals. These data demonstrate the effectiveness of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against clinical disease caused by B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 VOCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.11.435000DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987006PMC
March 2021

Reduced neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant by convalescent and vaccine sera.

Cell 2021 04 18;184(8):2201-2211.e7. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford, UK; Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

SARS-CoV-2 has caused over 2 million deaths in little over a year. Vaccines are being deployed at scale, aiming to generate responses against the virus spike. The scale of the pandemic and error-prone virus replication is leading to the appearance of mutant viruses and potentially escape from antibody responses. Variant B.1.1.7, now dominant in the UK, with increased transmission, harbors 9 amino acid changes in the spike, including N501Y in the ACE2 interacting surface. We examine the ability of B.1.1.7 to evade antibody responses elicited by natural SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination. We map the impact of N501Y by structure/function analysis of a large panel of well-characterized monoclonal antibodies. B.1.1.7 is harder to neutralize than parental virus, compromising neutralization by some members of a major class of public antibodies through light-chain contacts with residue 501. However, widespread escape from monoclonal antibodies or antibody responses generated by natural infection or vaccination was not observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.02.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7891044PMC
April 2021

Evidence of escape of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 from natural and vaccine-induced sera.

Cell 2021 04 23;184(9):2348-2361.e6. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford, UK; Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

The race to produce vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) began when the first sequence was published, and this forms the basis for vaccines currently deployed globally. Independent lineages of SARS-CoV-2 have recently been reported: UK, B.1.1.7; South Africa, B.1.351; and Brazil, P.1. These variants have multiple changes in the immunodominant spike protein that facilitates viral cell entry via the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor. Mutations in the receptor recognition site on the spike are of great concern for their potential for immune escape. Here, we describe a structure-function analysis of B.1.351 using a large cohort of convalescent and vaccinee serum samples. The receptor-binding domain mutations provide tighter ACE2 binding and widespread escape from monoclonal antibody neutralization largely driven by E484K, although K417N and N501Y act together against some important antibody classes. In a number of cases, it would appear that convalescent and some vaccine serum offers limited protection against this variant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.02.037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901269PMC
April 2021

Efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Covid-19 Vaccine against the B.1.351 Variant.

N Engl J Med 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

From the South African Medical Research Council Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (S.A.M., V.B., A.L.K., G.K., S.B., J.P., A.J., M.L., S.M., A.M., C.T., A.T., A.I.), African Leadership in Vaccinology Expertise (C.L.C.), Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (L.F., E.H., M. Masenya, F.P., S.E.), the Antibody Immunity Research Unit, School of Pathology (J.N.B., C.K.W., P.L.M.), and the Perinatal HIV Research Unit (C.B.), Faculty of Health Sciences, and the Department of Science and Innovation/National Research Foundation South African Research Chair Initiative in Vaccine Preventable Diseases Unit (S.A.M., V.B., A.L.K., G.K., S.B., A.I.), University of the Witwatersrand, and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) (J.N.B., C.K.W., P.L.M.), Johannesburg, Setshaba Research Centre, Tshwane (S.D.P., K.A., M. Malahleha, M. Masilela, K.M.), the Division of Pulmonology, Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town (K.D., A.E., S.O.), and the Family Centre for Research with Ubuntu, Department of Paediatrics, University of Stellenbosch (S.L.B., M.G., L.R.), Cape Town, Soweto Clinical Trials Centre, Soweto (Q.E.B., A.E.B.), and the Africa Health Research Institute (S.-H.H., H.R., A.S.) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform (KRISP), University of KwaZulu-Natal (S.P., H.T., T.O., A.S.), Durban - all in South Africa; the Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics (M.V., P.A., S.R., A.J.P.), and Jenner Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine (T.L., S.G.), University of Oxford, Oxford, the Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Department of Immunology and Infection, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London (K.D., A.E.), Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, London (K.D.), and AstraZeneca Biopharmaceuticals, Cambridge (N.M.D., E.J.K., T.L.V.) - all in the United Kingdom; and Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin (S.-H.H., H.R.).

Background: Assessment of the safety and efficacy of vaccines against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in different populations is essential, as is investigation of the efficacy of the vaccines against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including the B.1.351 (501Y.V2) variant first identified in South Africa.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial to assess the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) in people not infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in South Africa. Participants 18 to less than 65 years of age were assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive two doses of vaccine containing 5×10 viral particles or placebo (0.9% sodium chloride solution) 21 to 35 days apart. Serum samples obtained from 25 participants after the second dose were tested by pseudovirus and live-virus neutralization assays against the original D614G virus and the B.1.351 variant. The primary end points were safety and efficacy of the vaccine against laboratory-confirmed symptomatic coronavirus 2019 illness (Covid-19) more than 14 days after the second dose.

Results: Between June 24 and November 9, 2020, we enrolled 2026 HIV-negative adults (median age, 30 years); 1010 and 1011 participants received at least one dose of placebo or vaccine, respectively. Both the pseudovirus and the live-virus neutralization assays showed greater resistance to the B.1.351 variant in serum samples obtained from vaccine recipients than in samples from placebo recipients. In the primary end-point analysis, mild-to-moderate Covid-19 developed in 23 of 717 placebo recipients (3.2%) and in 19 of 750 vaccine recipients (2.5%), for an efficacy of 21.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], -49.9 to 59.8). Among the 42 participants with Covid-19, 39 cases (92.9%) were caused by the B.1.351 variant; vaccine efficacy against this variant, analyzed as a secondary end point, was 10.4% (95% CI, -76.8 to 54.8). The incidence of serious adverse events was balanced between the vaccine and placebo groups.

Conclusions: A two-dose regimen of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine did not show protection against mild-to-moderate Covid-19 due to the B.1.351 variant. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04444674; Pan African Clinical Trials Registry number, PACTR202006922165132).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2102214DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7993410PMC
March 2021

ChAdOx1-vectored Lassa fever vaccine elicits a robust cellular and humoral immune response and protects guinea pigs against lethal Lassa virus challenge.

NPJ Vaccines 2021 Mar 2;6(1):32. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, MT, USA.

Lassa virus (LASV) infects hundreds of thousands of individuals each year, highlighting the need for the accelerated development of preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic interventions. To date, no vaccine has been licensed for LASV. ChAdOx1-Lassa-GPC is a chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine encoding the Josiah strain LASV glycoprotein precursor (GPC) gene. In the following study, we show that ChAdOx1-Lassa-GPC is immunogenic, inducing robust T-cell and antibody responses in mice. Furthermore, a single dose of ChAdOx1-Lassa-GPC fully protects Hartley guinea pigs against morbidity and mortality following lethal challenge with a guinea pig-adapted LASV (strain Josiah). By contrast, control vaccinated animals reached euthanasia criteria 10-12 days after infection. Limited amounts of LASV RNA were detected in the tissues of vaccinated animals. Viable LASV was detected in only one animal receiving a single dose of the vaccine. A prime-boost regimen of ChAdOx1-Lassa-GPC in guinea pigs significantly increased antigen-specific antibody titers and cleared viable LASV from the tissues. These data support further development of ChAdOx1-Lassa-GPC and testing in non-human primate models of infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41541-021-00291-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7925663PMC
March 2021

Single-dose administration and the influence of the timing of the booster dose on immunogenicity and efficacy of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine: a pooled analysis of four randomised trials.

Lancet 2021 03 19;397(10277):881-891. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Infection, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK; MRC Clinical Trials Unit, University College London, London, UK.

Background: The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine has been approved for emergency use by the UK regulatory authority, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, with a regimen of two standard doses given with an interval of 4-12 weeks. The planned roll-out in the UK will involve vaccinating people in high-risk categories with their first dose immediately, and delivering the second dose 12 weeks later. Here, we provide both a further prespecified pooled analysis of trials of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and exploratory analyses of the impact on immunogenicity and efficacy of extending the interval between priming and booster doses. In addition, we show the immunogenicity and protection afforded by the first dose, before a booster dose has been offered.

Methods: We present data from three single-blind randomised controlled trials-one phase 1/2 study in the UK (COV001), one phase 2/3 study in the UK (COV002), and a phase 3 study in Brazil (COV003)-and one double-blind phase 1/2 study in South Africa (COV005). As previously described, individuals 18 years and older were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive two standard doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (5 × 10 viral particles) or a control vaccine or saline placebo. In the UK trial, a subset of participants received a lower dose (2·2 × 10 viral particles) of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 for the first dose. The primary outcome was virologically confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 disease, defined as a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT)-positive swab combined with at least one qualifying symptom (fever ≥37·8°C, cough, shortness of breath, or anosmia or ageusia) more than 14 days after the second dose. Secondary efficacy analyses included cases occuring at least 22 days after the first dose. Antibody responses measured by immunoassay and by pseudovirus neutralisation were exploratory outcomes. All cases of COVID-19 with a NAAT-positive swab were adjudicated for inclusion in the analysis by a masked independent endpoint review committee. The primary analysis included all participants who were SARS-CoV-2 N protein seronegative at baseline, had had at least 14 days of follow-up after the second dose, and had no evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection from NAAT swabs. Safety was assessed in all participants who received at least one dose. The four trials are registered at ISRCTN89951424 (COV003) and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606 (COV001), NCT04400838 (COV002), and NCT04444674 (COV005).

Findings: Between April 23 and Dec 6, 2020, 24 422 participants were recruited and vaccinated across the four studies, of whom 17 178 were included in the primary analysis (8597 receiving ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and 8581 receiving control vaccine). The data cutoff for these analyses was Dec 7, 2020. 332 NAAT-positive infections met the primary endpoint of symptomatic infection more than 14 days after the second dose. Overall vaccine efficacy more than 14 days after the second dose was 66·7% (95% CI 57·4-74·0), with 84 (1·0%) cases in the 8597 participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 248 (2·9%) in the 8581 participants in the control group. There were no hospital admissions for COVID-19 in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group after the initial 21-day exclusion period, and 15 in the control group. 108 (0·9%) of 12 282 participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 127 (1·1%) of 11 962 participants in the control group had serious adverse events. There were seven deaths considered unrelated to vaccination (two in the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 group and five in the control group), including one COVID-19-related death in one participant in the control group. Exploratory analyses showed that vaccine efficacy after a single standard dose of vaccine from day 22 to day 90 after vaccination was 76·0% (59·3-85·9). Our modelling analysis indicated that protection did not wane during this initial 3-month period. Similarly, antibody levels were maintained during this period with minimal waning by day 90 (geometric mean ratio [GMR] 0·66 [95% CI 0·59-0·74]). In the participants who received two standard doses, after the second dose, efficacy was higher in those with a longer prime-boost interval (vaccine efficacy 81·3% [95% CI 60·3-91·2] at ≥12 weeks) than in those with a short interval (vaccine efficacy 55·1% [33·0-69·9] at <6 weeks). These observations are supported by immunogenicity data that showed binding antibody responses more than two-fold higher after an interval of 12 or more weeks compared with an interval of less than 6 weeks in those who were aged 18-55 years (GMR 2·32 [2·01-2·68]).

Interpretation: The results of this primary analysis of two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 were consistent with those seen in the interim analysis of the trials and confirm that the vaccine is efficacious, with results varying by dose interval in exploratory analyses. A 3-month dose interval might have advantages over a programme with a short dose interval for roll-out of a pandemic vaccine to protect the largest number of individuals in the population as early as possible when supplies are scarce, while also improving protection after receiving a second dose.

Funding: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes of Health Research (NIHR), The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lemann Foundation, Rede D'Or, the Brava and Telles Foundation, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland's NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00432-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7894131PMC
March 2021

Evaluation of the immunogenicity of prime-boost vaccination with the replication-deficient viral vectored COVID-19 vaccine candidate ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

NPJ Vaccines 2020 Jul 27;5(1):69. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, GU24 0NF, UK.

Clinical development of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, a replication-deficient simian adenoviral vector expressing the full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein was initiated in April 2020 following non-human primate studies using a single immunisation. Here, we compared the immunogenicity of one or two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in both mice and pigs. Whilst a single dose induced antigen-specific antibody and T cells responses, a booster immunisation enhanced antibody responses, particularly in pigs, with a significant increase in SARS-CoV-2 neutralising titres.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41541-020-00221-3DOI Listing
July 2020

A booster dose enhances immunogenicity of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in aged mice.

Med (N Y) 2021 Mar 16;2(3):243-262.e8. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Lymphocyte Signalling and Development, Babraham Institute, Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge CB22 3AT, UK.

Background: The spread of SARS-CoV-2 has caused a worldwide pandemic that has affected almost every aspect of human life. The development of an effective COVID-19 vaccine could limit the morbidity and mortality caused by infection and may enable the relaxation of social-distancing measures. Age is one of the most significant risk factors for poor health outcomes after SARS-CoV-2 infection; therefore, it is desirable that any new vaccine candidates elicit a robust immune response in older adults.

Methods: Here, we use in-depth immunophenotyping to characterize the innate and adaptive immune response induced upon intramuscular administration of the adenoviral vectored ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD-1222) COVID-19 vaccine candidate in mice.

Findings: A single vaccination generates spike-specific Th1 cells, Th1-like Foxp3 regulatory T cells, polyfunctional spike-specific CD8 T cells. and granzyme-B-producing CD8 effectors. Spike-specific IgG and IgM are generated from both the early extrafollicular antibody response and the T follicular helper cell-supported germinal center reaction, which is associated with the production of virus-neutralizing antibodies. A single dose of this vaccine generated a similar type of immune response in aged mice but of a reduced magnitude than in younger mice. We report that a second dose enhances the immune response to this vaccine in aged mice.

Conclusions: This study shows that ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 induces both cellular and humoral immunity in adult and aged mice and suggests a prime-boost strategy is a rational approach to enhance immunogenicity in older persons.

Funding: This study was supported by BBSRC, Lister institute of Preventative Medicine, EPSRC VaxHub, and Innovate UK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.medj.2020.12.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7833318PMC
March 2021

MAIT cell activation augments adenovirus vector vaccine immunogenicity.

Science 2021 01;371(6528):521-526

Translational Gastroenterology Unit, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are innate sensors of viruses and can augment early immune responses and contribute to protection. We hypothesized that MAIT cells may have inherent adjuvant activity in vaccine platforms that use replication-incompetent adenovirus vectors. In mice and humans, ChAdOx1 (chimpanzee adenovirus Ox1) immunization robustly activated MAIT cells. Activation required plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC)-derived interferon (IFN)-α and monocyte-derived interleukin-18. IFN-α-induced, monocyte-derived tumor necrosis factor was also identified as a key secondary signal. All three cytokines were required in vitro and in vivo. Activation of MAIT cells positively correlated with vaccine-induced T cell responses in human volunteers and MAIT cell-deficient mice displayed impaired CD8 T cell responses to multiple vaccine-encoded antigens. Thus, MAIT cells contribute to the immunogenicity of adenovirus vectors, with implications for vaccine design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aax8819DOI Listing
January 2021

Native-like SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein expressed by ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/AZD1222 vaccine.

bioRxiv 2021 Jan 19. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Vaccine development against the SARS-CoV-2 virus focuses on the principal target of the neutralizing immune response, the spike (S) glycoprotein. Adenovirus-vectored vaccines offer an effective platform for the delivery of viral antigen, but it is important for the generation of neutralizing antibodies that they produce appropriately processed and assembled viral antigen that mimics that observed on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Here, we describe the structure, conformation and glycosylation of the S protein derived from the adenovirus-vectored ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/AZD1222 vaccine. We demonstrate native-like post-translational processing and assembly, and reveal the expression of S proteins on the surface of cells adopting the trimeric prefusion conformation. The data presented here confirms the use of ChAdOx1 adenovirus vectors as a leading platform technology for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.15.426463DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7836103PMC
January 2021

Intranasal ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/AZD1222 vaccination reduces shedding of SARS-CoV-2 D614G in rhesus macaques.

bioRxiv 2021 Jan 11. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Intramuscular vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/AZD1222 protected rhesus macaques against pneumonia but did not reduce shedding of SARS-CoV-2. Here we investigate whether intranasally administered ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 reduces shedding, using a SARS-CoV-2 virus with the D614G mutation in the spike protein. Viral load in swabs obtained from intranasally vaccinated hamsters was significantly decreased compared to controls and no viral RNA or infectious virus was found in lung tissue, both in a direct challenge and a transmission model. Intranasal vaccination of rhesus macaques resulted in reduced shedding and a reduction in viral load in bronchoalveolar lavage and lower respiratory tract tissue. In conclusion, intranasal vaccination reduced shedding in two different SARS-CoV-2 animal models, justifying further investigation as a potential vaccination route for COVID-19 vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.09.426058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7808328PMC
January 2021

T cell and antibody responses induced by a single dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine in a phase 1/2 clinical trial.

Nat Med 2021 02 17;27(2):270-278. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), has caused a global pandemic, and safe, effective vaccines are urgently needed. Strong, Th1-skewed T cell responses can drive protective humoral and cell-mediated immune responses and might reduce the potential for disease enhancement. Cytotoxic T cells clear virus-infected host cells and contribute to control of infection. Studies of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 have suggested a protective role for both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses in recovery from COVID-19 (refs. ). ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) is a candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine comprising a replication-deficient simian adenovirus expressing full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. We recently reported preliminary safety and immunogenicity data from a phase 1/2 trial of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (NCT04400838) given as either a one- or two-dose regimen. The vaccine was tolerated, with induction of neutralizing antibodies and antigen-specific T cells against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Here we describe, in detail, exploratory analyses of the immune responses in adults, aged 18-55 years, up to 8 weeks after vaccination with a single dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in this trial, demonstrating an induction of a Th1-biased response characterized by interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α cytokine secretion by CD4 T cells and antibody production predominantly of IgG1 and IgG3 subclasses. CD8 T cells, of monofunctional, polyfunctional and cytotoxic phenotypes, were also induced. Taken together, these results suggest a favorable immune profile induced by ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, supporting the progression of this vaccine candidate to ongoing phase 2/3 trials to assess vaccine efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-01194-5DOI Listing
February 2021

Phase 1/2 trial of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 with a booster dose induces multifunctional antibody responses.

Nat Med 2021 02 17;27(2):279-288. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

The Jenner Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

More than 190 vaccines are currently in development to prevent infection by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Animal studies suggest that while neutralizing antibodies against the viral spike protein may correlate with protection, additional antibody functions may also be important in preventing infection. Previously, we reported early immunogenicity and safety outcomes of a viral vector coronavirus vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222), in a single-blinded phase 1/2 randomized controlled trial of healthy adults aged 18-55 years ( NCT04324606 ). Now we describe safety and exploratory humoral and cellular immunogenicity of the vaccine, from subgroups of volunteers in that trial, who were subsequently allocated to receive a homologous full-dose (SD/SD D56; n = 20) or half-dose (SD/LD D56; n = 32) ChAdOx1 booster vaccine 56 d following prime vaccination. Previously reported immunogenicity data from the open-label 28-d interval prime-boost group (SD/SD D28; n = 10) are also presented to facilitate comparison. Additionally, we describe volunteers boosted with the comparator vaccine (MenACWY; n = 10). In this interim report, we demonstrate that a booster dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is safe and better tolerated than priming doses. Using a systems serology approach we also demonstrate that anti-spike neutralizing antibody titers, as well as Fc-mediated functional antibody responses, including antibody-dependent neutrophil/monocyte phagocytosis, complement activation and natural killer cell activation, are substantially enhanced by a booster dose of vaccine. A booster dose of vaccine induced stronger antibody responses than a dose-sparing half-dose boost, although the magnitude of T cell responses did not increase with either boost dose. These data support the two-dose vaccine regime that is now being evaluated in phase 3 clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-01179-4DOI Listing
February 2021

Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK.

Lancet 2021 01 8;397(10269):99-111. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

St George's Vaccine Institute, St George's, University of London, London, UK.

Background: A safe and efficacious vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), if deployed with high coverage, could contribute to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in a pooled interim analysis of four trials.

Methods: This analysis includes data from four ongoing blinded, randomised, controlled trials done across the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Participants aged 18 years and older were randomly assigned (1:1) to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or control (meningococcal group A, C, W, and Y conjugate vaccine or saline). Participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group received two doses containing 5 × 10 viral particles (standard dose; SD/SD cohort); a subset in the UK trial received a half dose as their first dose (low dose) and a standard dose as their second dose (LD/SD cohort). The primary efficacy analysis included symptomatic COVID-19 in seronegative participants with a nucleic acid amplification test-positive swab more than 14 days after a second dose of vaccine. Participants were analysed according to treatment received, with data cutoff on Nov 4, 2020. Vaccine efficacy was calculated as 1 - relative risk derived from a robust Poisson regression model adjusted for age. Studies are registered at ISRCTN89951424 and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606, NCT04400838, and NCT04444674.

Findings: Between April 23 and Nov 4, 2020, 23 848 participants were enrolled and 11 636 participants (7548 in the UK, 4088 in Brazil) were included in the interim primary efficacy analysis. In participants who received two standard doses, vaccine efficacy was 62·1% (95% CI 41·0-75·7; 27 [0·6%] of 4440 in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group vs71 [1·6%] of 4455 in the control group) and in participants who received a low dose followed by a standard dose, efficacy was 90·0% (67·4-97·0; three [0·2%] of 1367 vs 30 [2·2%] of 1374; p=0·010). Overall vaccine efficacy across both groups was 70·4% (95·8% CI 54·8-80·6; 30 [0·5%] of 5807 vs 101 [1·7%] of 5829). From 21 days after the first dose, there were ten cases hospitalised for COVID-19, all in the control arm; two were classified as severe COVID-19, including one death. There were 74 341 person-months of safety follow-up (median 3·4 months, IQR 1·3-4·8): 175 severe adverse events occurred in 168 participants, 84 events in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 91 in the control group. Three events were classified as possibly related to a vaccine: one in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, one in the control group, and one in a participant who remains masked to group allocation.

Interpretation: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 has an acceptable safety profile and has been found to be efficacious against symptomatic COVID-19 in this interim analysis of ongoing clinical trials.

Funding: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lemann Foundation, Rede D'Or, Brava and Telles Foundation, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland's NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32661-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7723445PMC
January 2021

Safety and immunogenicity of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine administered in a prime-boost regimen in young and old adults (COV002): a single-blind, randomised, controlled, phase 2/3 trial.

Lancet 2021 12 19;396(10267):1979-1993. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: Older adults (aged ≥70 years) are at increased risk of severe disease and death if they develop COVID-19 and are therefore a priority for immunisation should an efficacious vaccine be developed. Immunogenicity of vaccines is often worse in older adults as a result of immunosenescence. We have reported the immunogenicity of a novel chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222), in young adults, and now describe the safety and immunogenicity of this vaccine in a wider range of participants, including adults aged 70 years and older.

Methods: In this report of the phase 2 component of a single-blind, randomised, controlled, phase 2/3 trial (COV002), healthy adults aged 18 years and older were enrolled at two UK clinical research facilities, in an age-escalation manner, into 18-55 years, 56-69 years, and 70 years and older immunogenicity subgroups. Participants were eligible if they did not have severe or uncontrolled medical comorbidities or a high frailty score (if aged ≥65 years). First, participants were recruited to a low-dose cohort, and within each age group, participants were randomly assigned to receive either intramuscular ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (2·2 × 10 virus particles) or a control vaccine, MenACWY, using block randomisation and stratified by age and dose group and study site, using the following ratios: in the 18-55 years group, 1:1 to either two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or two doses of MenACWY; in the 56-69 years group, 3:1:3:1 to one dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, one dose of MenACWY, two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or two doses of MenACWY; and in the 70 years and older, 5:1:5:1 to one dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, one dose of MenACWY, two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or two doses of MenACWY. Prime-booster regimens were given 28 days apart. Participants were then recruited to the standard-dose cohort (3·5-6·5 × 10 virus particles of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) and the same randomisation procedures were followed, except the 18-55 years group was assigned in a 5:1 ratio to two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or two doses of MenACWY. Participants and investigators, but not staff administering the vaccine, were masked to vaccine allocation. The specific objectives of this report were to assess the safety and humoral and cellular immunogenicity of a single-dose and two-dose schedule in adults older than 55 years. Humoral responses at baseline and after each vaccination until 1 year after the booster were assessed using an in-house standardised ELISA, a multiplex immunoassay, and a live severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) microneutralisation assay (MNA). Cellular responses were assessed using an ex-vivo IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay. The coprimary outcomes of the trial were efficacy, as measured by the number of cases of symptomatic, virologically confirmed COVID-19, and safety, as measured by the occurrence of serious adverse events. Analyses were by group allocation in participants who received the vaccine. Here, we report the preliminary findings on safety, reactogenicity, and cellular and humoral immune responses. This study is ongoing and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04400838, and ISRCTN, 15281137.

Findings: Between May 30 and Aug 8, 2020, 560 participants were enrolled: 160 aged 18-55 years (100 assigned to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, 60 assigned to MenACWY), 160 aged 56-69 years (120 assigned to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19: 40 assigned to MenACWY), and 240 aged 70 years and older (200 assigned to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19: 40 assigned to MenACWY). Seven participants did not receive the boost dose of their assigned two-dose regimen, one participant received the incorrect vaccine, and three were excluded from immunogenicity analyses due to incorrectly labelled samples. 280 (50%) of 552 analysable participants were female. Local and systemic reactions were more common in participants given ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 than in those given the control vaccine, and similar in nature to those previously reported (injection-site pain, feeling feverish, muscle ache, headache), but were less common in older adults (aged ≥56 years) than younger adults. In those receiving two standard doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, after the prime vaccination local reactions were reported in 43 (88%) of 49 participants in the 18-55 years group, 22 (73%) of 30 in the 56-69 years group, and 30 (61%) of 49 in the 70 years and older group, and systemic reactions in 42 (86%) participants in the 18-55 years group, 23 (77%) in the 56-69 years group, and 32 (65%) in the 70 years and older group. As of Oct 26, 2020, 13 serious adverse events occurred during the study period, none of which were considered to be related to either study vaccine. In participants who received two doses of vaccine, median anti-spike SARS-CoV-2 IgG responses 28 days after the boost dose were similar across the three age cohorts (standard-dose groups: 18-55 years, 20 713 arbitrary units [AU]/mL [IQR 13 898-33 550], n=39; 56-69 years, 16 170 AU/mL [10 233-40 353], n=26; and ≥70 years 17 561 AU/mL [9705-37 796], n=47; p=0·68). Neutralising antibody titres after a boost dose were similar across all age groups (median MNA at day 42 in the standard-dose groups: 18-55 years, 193 [IQR 113-238], n=39; 56-69 years, 144 [119-347], n=20; and ≥70 years, 161 [73-323], n=47; p=0·40). By 14 days after the boost dose, 208 (>99%) of 209 boosted participants had neutralising antibody responses. T-cell responses peaked at day 14 after a single standard dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (18-55 years: median 1187 spot-forming cells [SFCs] per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells [IQR 841-2428], n=24; 56-69 years: 797 SFCs [383-1817], n=29; and ≥70 years: 977 SFCs [458-1914], n=48).

Interpretation: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 appears to be better tolerated in older adults than in younger adults and has similar immunogenicity across all age groups after a boost dose. Further assessment of the efficacy of this vaccine is warranted in all age groups and individuals with comorbidities.

Funding: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midlands NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32466-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7674972PMC
December 2021

Seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in Kenyan blood donors.

Science 2021 01 11;371(6524):79-82. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya.

The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Africa is poorly described. The first case of SARS-CoV-2 in Kenya was reported on 12 March 2020, and an overwhelming number of cases and deaths were expected, but by 31 July 2020, there were only 20,636 cases and 341 deaths. However, the extent of SARS-CoV-2 exposure in the community remains unknown. We determined the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G among blood donors in Kenya in April-June 2020. Crude seroprevalence was 5.6% (174 of 3098). Population-weighted, test-performance-adjusted national seroprevalence was 4.3% (95% confidence interval, 2.9 to 5.8%) and was highest in urban counties Mombasa (8.0%), Nairobi (7.3%), and Kisumu (5.5%). SARS-CoV-2 exposure is more extensive than indicated by case-based surveillance, and these results will help guide the pandemic response in Kenya and across Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abe1916DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7877494PMC
January 2021

Evaluation of the immunogenicity of prime-boost vaccination with the replication-deficient viral vectored COVID-19 vaccine candidate ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

NPJ Vaccines 2020 27;5:69. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, GU24 0NF UK.

Clinical development of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, a replication-deficient simian adenoviral vector expressing the full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein was initiated in April 2020 following non-human primate studies using a single immunisation. Here, we compared the immunogenicity of one or two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in both mice and pigs. Whilst a single dose induced antigen-specific antibody and T cells responses, a booster immunisation enhanced antibody responses, particularly in pigs, with a significant increase in SARS-CoV-2 neutralising titres.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41541-020-00221-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7385486PMC
July 2020

ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine prevents SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in rhesus macaques.

Nature 2020 10 30;586(7830):578-582. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 2019 and is responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Vaccines are an essential countermeasure and are urgently needed to control the pandemic. Here we show that the adenovirus-vector-based vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, which encodes the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, is immunogenic in mice and elicites a robust humoral and cell-mediated response. This response was predominantly mediated by type-1 T helper cells, as demonstrated by the profiling of the IgG subclass and the expression of cytokines. Vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (using either a prime-only or a prime-boost regimen) induced a balanced humoral and cellular immune response of type-1 and type-2 T helper cells in rhesus macaques. We observed a significantly reduced viral load in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lower respiratory tract tissue of vaccinated rhesus macaques that were challenged with SARS-CoV-2 compared with control animals, and no pneumonia was observed in vaccinated SARS-CoV-2-infected animals. However, there was no difference in nasal shedding between vaccinated and control SARS-CoV-2-infected macaques. Notably, we found no evidence of immune-enhanced disease after viral challenge in vaccinated SARS-CoV-2-infected animals. The safety, immunogenicity and efficacy profiles of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 against symptomatic PCR-positive COVID-19 disease will now be assessed in randomized controlled clinical trials in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2608-yDOI Listing
October 2020

Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: a preliminary report of a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial.

Lancet 2020 08 20;396(10249):467-478. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford, UK.

Background: The pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) might be curtailed by vaccination. We assessed the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of a viral vectored coronavirus vaccine that expresses the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.

Methods: We did a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial in five trial sites in the UK of a chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein compared with a meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) as control. Healthy adults aged 18-55 years with no history of laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection or of COVID-19-like symptoms were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 at a dose of 5 × 10 viral particles or MenACWY as a single intramuscular injection. A protocol amendment in two of the five sites allowed prophylactic paracetamol to be administered before vaccination. Ten participants assigned to a non-randomised, unblinded ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 prime-boost group received a two-dose schedule, with the booster vaccine administered 28 days after the first dose. Humoral responses at baseline and following vaccination were assessed using a standardised total IgG ELISA against trimeric SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, a muliplexed immunoassay, three live SARS-CoV-2 neutralisation assays (a 50% plaque reduction neutralisation assay [PRNT]; a microneutralisation assay [MNA, MNA, and MNA]; and Marburg VN), and a pseudovirus neutralisation assay. Cellular responses were assessed using an ex-vivo interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay. The co-primary outcomes are to assess efficacy, as measured by cases of symptomatic virologically confirmed COVID-19, and safety, as measured by the occurrence of serious adverse events. Analyses were done by group allocation in participants who received the vaccine. Safety was assessed over 28 days after vaccination. Here, we report the preliminary findings on safety, reactogenicity, and cellular and humoral immune responses. The study is ongoing, and was registered at ISRCTN, 15281137, and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606.

Findings: Between April 23 and May 21, 2020, 1077 participants were enrolled and assigned to receive either ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (n=543) or MenACWY (n=534), ten of whom were enrolled in the non-randomised ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 prime-boost group. Local and systemic reactions were more common in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and many were reduced by use of prophylactic paracetamol, including pain, feeling feverish, chills, muscle ache, headache, and malaise (all p<0·05). There were no serious adverse events related to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. In the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, spike-specific T-cell responses peaked on day 14 (median 856 spot-forming cells per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells, IQR 493-1802; n=43). Anti-spike IgG responses rose by day 28 (median 157 ELISA units [EU], 96-317; n=127), and were boosted following a second dose (639 EU, 360-792; n=10). Neutralising antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 32 (91%) of 35 participants after a single dose when measured in MNA and in 35 (100%) participants when measured in PRNT. After a booster dose, all participants had neutralising activity (nine of nine in MNA at day 42 and ten of ten in Marburg VN on day 56). Neutralising antibody responses correlated strongly with antibody levels measured by ELISA (R=0·67 by Marburg VN; p<0·001).

Interpretation: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 showed an acceptable safety profile, and homologous boosting increased antibody responses. These results, together with the induction of both humoral and cellular immune responses, support large-scale evaluation of this candidate vaccine in an ongoing phase 3 programme.

Funding: UK Research and Innovation, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland's NIHR Clinical Research Network, and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Partner site Gießen-Marburg-Langen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31604-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7445431PMC
August 2020

A single dose of ChAdOx1 MERS provides protective immunity in rhesus macaques.

Sci Adv 2020 06 10;6(24):eaba8399. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, MT, USA.

Developing a vaccine to protect against the lethal effects of the many strains of coronavirus is critical given the current global pandemic. For Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), we show that rhesus macaques seroconverted rapidly after a single intramuscular vaccination with ChAdOx1 MERS. The vaccine protected against respiratory injury and pneumonia and reduced viral load in lung tissue by several orders of magnitude. MERS-CoV replication in type I and II pneumocytes of ChAdOx1 MERS-vaccinated animals was absent. A prime-boost regimen of ChAdOx1 MERS boosted antibody titers, and viral replication was completely absent from the respiratory tract tissue of these rhesus macaques. We also found that antibodies elicited by ChAdOx1 MERS in rhesus macaques neutralized six different MERS-CoV strains. Transgenic human dipeptidyl peptidase 4 mice vaccinated with ChAdOx1 MERS were completely protected against disease and lethality for all different MERS-CoV strains. The data support further clinical development of ChAdOx1 MERS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aba8399DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7286676PMC
June 2020

ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination prevents SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in rhesus macaques.

bioRxiv 2020 May 13. Epub 2020 May 13.

Rocky Mountain Veterinary Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT, USA.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 2019 and is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines are an essential countermeasure urgently needed to control the pandemic. Here, we show that the adenovirus-vectored vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, encoding the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, is immunogenic in mice, eliciting a robust humoral and cell-mediated response. This response was not Th2 dominated, as demonstrated by IgG subclass and cytokine expression profiling. A single vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 induced a humoral and cellular immune response in rhesus macaques. We observed a significantly reduced viral load in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and respiratory tract tissue of vaccinated animals challenged with SARS-CoV-2 compared with control animals, and no pneumonia was observed in vaccinated rhesus macaques. Importantly, no evidence of immune-enhanced disease following viral challenge in vaccinated animals was observed. ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is currently under investigation in a phase I clinical trial. Safety, immunogenicity and efficacy against symptomatic PCR-positive COVID-19 disease will now be assessed in randomised controlled human clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.13.093195DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7241103PMC
May 2020

The early landscape of coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine development in the UK and rest of the world.

Immunology 2020 07;160(3):223-232

The Jenner Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Since the first World Health Organization notification on 31 December 2019, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been responsible for over four million confirmed infections and almost 300 000 deaths worldwide. The pandemic has led to over half of the world's population living under lockdown conditions. To allow normal life to resume, public health interventions will be needed to prevent further waves of infections as lockdown measures are lifted. As one of the most effective countermeasures against infectious diseases, an efficacious vaccine is considered crucial to containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the publication of the genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2, vaccine development has accelerated at an unprecedented pace across the world. Here we review the different platforms employed to develop vaccines, the standard timelines of development and how they can be condensed in a pandemic situation. We focus on vaccine development in the UK and vaccines that have entered clinical trials around the world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imm.13222DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7283842PMC
July 2020

A Multi-Filovirus Vaccine Candidate: Co-Expression of Ebola, Sudan, and Marburg Antigens in a Single Vector.

Vaccines (Basel) 2020 May 21;8(2). Epub 2020 May 21.

Nuffield Department of Medicine, Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7DQ, UK.

In the infectious diseases field, protective immunity against individual virus species or strains does not always confer cross-reactive immunity to closely related viruses, leaving individuals susceptible to disease after exposure to related virus species. This is a significant hurdle in the field of vaccine development, in which broadly protective vaccines represent an unmet need. This is particularly evident for filoviruses, as there are multiple family members that can cause lethal haemorrhagic fever, including Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, and Marburg virus. In an attempt to address this need, both pre-clinical and clinical studies previously used mixed or co-administered monovalent vaccines to prevent filovirus mediated disease. However, these multi-vaccine and multi-dose vaccination regimens do not represent a practical immunisation scheme when considering the target endemic areas. We describe here the development of a single multi-pathogen filovirus vaccine candidate based on a replication-deficient simian adenoviral vector. Our vaccine candidate encodes three different filovirus glycoproteins in one vector and induces strong cellular and humoral immunity to all three viral glycoproteins after a single vaccination. Crucially, it was found to be protective in a stringent Zaire ebolavirus challenge in guinea pigs in a one-shot vaccination regimen. This trivalent filovirus vaccine offers a tenable vaccine product that could be rapidly translated to the clinic to prevent filovirus-mediated viral haemorrhagic fever.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8020241DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7349952PMC
May 2020