The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has made deployment of an effective vaccine a global health priority. We evaluated the protective activity of a chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine encoding a prefusion stabilized spike protein (ChAd-SARS-CoV-2-S) in challenge studies with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and mice expressing the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor. Intramuscular dosing of ChAd-SARS-CoV-2-S induces robust systemic humoral and cell-mediated immune responses and protects against lung infection, inflammation, and pathology but does not confer sterilizing immunity, as evidenced by detection of viral RNA and induction of anti-nucleoprotein antibodies after SARS-CoV-2 challenge. In contrast, a single intranasal dose of ChAd-SARS-CoV-2-S induces high levels of neutralizing antibodies, promotes systemic and mucosal immunoglobulin A (IgA) and T cell responses, and almost entirely prevents SARS-CoV-2 infection in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Intranasal administration of ChAd-SARS-CoV-2-S is a candidate for preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission and curtailing pandemic spread.
Keywords: COVID-19; IgA; SARS-CoV-2; T cells; antibody; intranasal; mucosal immunity; pathogenesis; protection; vaccine.
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