Mosaic RBD nanoparticles protect against multiple sarbecovirus challenges in animal models

bioRxiv. 2022 Mar 28;2022.03.25.485875. doi: 10.1101/2022.03.25.485875. Preprint


To combat future SARS-CoV-2 variants and spillovers of SARS-like betacoronaviruses (sarbecoviruses) threatening global health, we designed mosaic nanoparticles presenting randomly-arranged sarbecovirus spike receptor-binding domains (RBDs) to elicit antibodies against conserved/relatively-occluded, rather than variable/immunodominant/exposed, epitopes. We compared immune responses elicited by mosaic-8 (SARS-CoV-2 and seven animal sarbecoviruses) and homotypic (only SARS-CoV-2) RBD-nanoparticles in mice and macaques, observing stronger responses elicited by mosaic-8 to mismatched (not on nanoparticles) strains including SARS-CoV and animal sarbecoviruses. Mosaic-8 immunization showed equivalent neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 variants including Omicron and protected from SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV challenges, whereas homotypic SARS-CoV-2 immunization protected only from SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Epitope mapping demonstrated increased targeting of conserved epitopes after mosaic-8 immunization. Together, these results suggest mosaic-8 RBD-nanoparticles could protect against SARS-CoV-2 variants and future sarbecovirus spillovers.

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  • Preprint