Single-dose intranasal vaccination elicits systemic and mucosal immunity against SARS-CoV-2

bioRxiv. 2020 Jul 23;2020.07.23.212357. doi: 10.1101/2020.07.23.212357. Preprint


A safe and durable vaccine is urgently needed to tackle the COVID19 pandemic that has infected >15 million people and caused >620,000 deaths worldwide. As with other respiratory pathogens, the nasal compartment is the first barrier that needs to be breached by the SARS-CoV-2 virus before dissemination to the lung. Despite progress at remarkable speed, current intramuscular vaccines are designed to elicit systemic immunity without conferring mucosal immunity. We report the development of an intranasal subunit vaccine that contains the trimeric or monomeric spike protein and liposomal STING agonist as adjuvant. This vaccine induces systemic neutralizing antibodies, mucosal IgA responses in the lung and nasal compartments, and T-cell responses in the lung of mice. Single-cell RNA-sequencing confirmed the concomitant activation of T and B cell responses in a germinal center-like manner within the nasal-associated lymphoid tissues (NALT), confirming its role as an inductive site that can lead to long-lasting immunity. The ability to elicit immunity in the respiratory tract has can prevent the initial establishment of infection in individuals and prevent disease transmission across humans.

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  • Preprint