Adenovirus type 5 SARS-CoV-2 vaccines delivered orally or intranasally reduced disease severity and transmission in a hamster model

Sci Transl Med. 2022 Aug 17;14(658):eabn6868. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abn6868. Epub 2022 Aug 17.


Transmission-blocking strategies that slow the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and protect against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are needed. We have developed an orally delivered adenovirus type 5-vectored SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate that expresses the spike protein. Here, we demonstrated that hamsters vaccinated by the oral or intranasal route had robust and cross-reactive antibody responses. We then induced a postvaccination infection by inoculating vaccinated hamsters with SARS-CoV-2. Orally or intranasally vaccinated hamsters had decreased viral RNA and infectious virus in the nose and lungs and experienced less lung pathology compared to mock-vaccinated hamsters after SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Naïve hamsters exposed in a unidirectional air flow chamber to mucosally vaccinated, SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters also had lower nasal swab viral RNA and exhibited fewer clinical symptoms than control animals, suggesting that the mucosal route reduced viral transmission. The same platform encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins elicited mucosal cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2-specific IgA responses in a phase 1 clinical trial (NCT04563702). Our data demonstrate that mucosal immunization is a viable strategy to decrease SARS-CoV-2 disease and airborne transmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • COVID-19 Vaccines*
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic
  • Cricetinae
  • Humans
  • RNA, Viral
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • RNA, Viral

Associated data