SARS-CoV-2 binding and neutralizing antibody levels after Ad26.COV2.S vaccination predict durable protection in rhesus macaques

Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 7;12(1):5877. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-26117-x.


Several COVID-19 vaccines have recently gained authorization for emergency use. Limited knowledge on duration of immunity and efficacy of these vaccines is currently available. Data on other coronaviruses after natural infection suggest that immunity to SARS-CoV-2 might be short-lived, and preliminary evidence indicates waning antibody titers following SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this work, we model the relationship between immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a series of Ad26 vectors encoding stabilized variants of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein in rhesus macaques and validate the analyses by challenging macaques 6 months after immunization with the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine candidate that has been selected for clinical development. We show that Ad26.COV2.S confers durable protection against replication of SARS-CoV-2 in the lungs that is predicted by the levels of Spike-binding and neutralizing antibodies, indicating that Ad26.COV2.S could confer durable protection in humans and immunological correlates of protection may enable the prediction of durability of protection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Ad26COVS1
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology*
  • COVID-19 / immunology*
  • COVID-19 / virology*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / immunology*
  • Female
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Humoral
  • Logistic Models
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung / virology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Nose / immunology
  • Nose / virology
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / physiology
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus / immunology*
  • Vaccination*
  • Virus Replication / physiology


  • Ad26COVS1
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
  • spike protein, SARS-CoV-2