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

bioRxiv. 2020 May 13;2020.05.13.093195. doi: 10.1101/2020.05.13.093195. Preprint


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 20191,2 and is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic3. Vaccines are an essential countermeasure urgently needed to control the pandemic4. 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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