Broadly neutralizing antibodies against sarbecoviruses generated by immunization of macaques with an AS03-adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine.
Science translational medicine
2023; 15 (695): eadg7404
The rapid emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants that evade immunity elicited by vaccination has placed an imperative on the development of countermeasures that provide broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 and related sarbecoviruses. Here, we identified extremely potent monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that neutralized multiple sarbecoviruses from macaques vaccinated with AS03-adjuvanted monovalent subunit vaccines. Longitudinal analysis revealed progressive accumulation of somatic mutation in the immunoglobulin genes of antigen-specific memory B cells (MBCs) for at least 1 year after primary vaccination. Antibodies generated from these antigen-specific MBCs at 5 to 12 months after vaccination displayed greater potency and breadth relative to those identified at 1.4 months. Fifteen of the 338 (about 4.4%) antibodies isolated at 1.4 to 6 months after the primary vaccination showed potency against SARS-CoV-2 BA.1, despite the absence of serum BA.1 neutralization. 25F9 and 20A7 neutralized authentic clade 1 sarbecoviruses (SARS-CoV, WIV-1, SHC014, SARS-CoV-2 D614G, BA.1, and Pangolin-GD) and vesicular stomatitis virus-pseudotyped clade 3 sarbecoviruses (BtKY72 and PRD-0038). 20A7 and 27A12 showed potent neutralization against all SARS-CoV-2 variants and multiple Omicron sublineages, including BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4/5, BQ.1, BQ.1.1, and XBB. Crystallography studies revealed the molecular basis of broad and potent neutralization through targeting conserved sites within the RBD. Prophylactic protection of 25F9, 20A7, and 27A12 was confirmed in mice, and administration of 25F9 particularly provided complete protection against SARS-CoV-2, BA.1, SARS-CoV, and SHC014 challenge. These data underscore the extremely potent and broad activity of these mAbs against sarbecoviruses.
View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.adg7404
View details for PubMedID 37163615
Durability of immune responses to the booster mRNA vaccination against COVID-19.
The Journal of clinical investigation
Maintaining durable immunity to vaccination represents a major challenge, but whether booster mRNA vaccination improves durability is unknown.We measured antibody responses in 55 healthy adults who received a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and calculated the half-life of antibody titers. We also measured memory B and T cell responses in a subset of 28 participants. In 13 volunteers who received a second booster, we measured serum antibody titers, and memory B and T cell responses.The booster (3rd immunization) dose at 6 - 10 months increased the half-life of serum neutralizing antibody (nAb) titers to 76 days from 56 - 66 days after the primary two-dose vaccination. A second booster dose (4th immunization) a year after the primary vaccination increased the half-life further to 88 days. However, despite this modestly improved durability in nAb responses against the ancestral (WA.1) strain, there was a loss in neutralization capacity against Omicron subvariants BA.2.75.2, BQ.1.1, and XBB.1.5 (48, 71, and 66-fold drop in titers respectively, relative to the WA.1 strain). While only 45 - 65% of participants demonstrated a detectable nAb titer against the newer variants after the booster (3rd dose), the response declined to below the detection limit in almost all individuals by 6 months. In contrast, booster vaccination induced antigen-specific memory B and T cells that persisted for at least 6 months.The durability of serum antibody responses improves only marginally following booster immunizations with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines.
View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI167955
View details for PubMedID 36951954
SREBP signaling is essential for effective B cell responses.
Our previous study using systems vaccinology identified an association between the sterol regulatory binding protein (SREBP) pathway and humoral immune response to vaccination in humans. To investigate the role of SREBP signaling in modulating immune responses, we generated mice with B cell- or CD11c+ antigen-presenting cell (APC)-specific deletion of SCAP, an essential regulator of SREBP signaling. Ablation of SCAP in CD11c+ APCs had no effect on immune responses. In contrast, SREBP signaling in B cells was critical for antibody responses, as well as the generation of germinal centers,memory B cells and bone marrow plasma cells. SREBP signaling was required for metabolic reprogramming in activated B cells. Upon mitogen stimulation, SCAP-deficient B cells could not proliferate and had decreased lipid rafts. Deletion of SCAP in germinal center B cells using AID-Cre decreased lipid raft content and cell cycle progression. These studies provide mechanistic insights coupling sterol metabolism with the quality and longevity of humoral immunity.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41590-022-01376-y
View details for PubMedID 36577930
Durable protection against the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is induced by an adjuvanted subunit vaccine.
Science translational medicine
2022; 14 (658): eabq4130
Despite the remarkable efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, waning immunity and the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants such as Omicron represents a global health challenge. Here, we present data from a study in nonhuman primates demonstrating durable protection against the Omicron BA.1 variant induced by a subunit SARS-CoV-2 vaccine comprising the receptor binding domain of the ancestral strain (RBD-Wu) on the I53-50 nanoparticle adjuvanted with AS03, which was recently authorized for use in individuals 18 years or older. Vaccination induced neutralizing antibody (nAb) titers that were maintained at high concentrations for at least 1 year after two doses, with a pseudovirus nAb geometric mean titer (GMT) of 1978 and a live virus nAb GMT of 1331 against the ancestral strain but not against the Omicron BA.1 variant. However, a booster dose at 6 to 12 months with RBD-Wu or RBD-beta (RBD from the Beta variant) displayed on I53-50 elicited high neutralizing titers against the ancestral and Omicron variants. In addition, we observed persistent neutralization titers against a panel of sarbecoviruses, including SARS-CoV. Furthermore, there were substantial and persistent memory T and B cell responses reactive to Beta and Omicron variants. Vaccination resulted in protection against Omicron infection in the lung and suppression of viral burden in the nares at 6 weeks after the final booster immunization. Even at 6 months after vaccination, we observed protection in the lung and rapid control of virus in the nares. These results highlight the durable and cross-protective immunity elicited by the AS03-adjuvanted RBD-I53-50 nanoparticle vaccine.
View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.abq4130
View details for PubMedID 35976993
Adjuvanting a subunit SARS-CoV-2 vaccine with clinically relevant adjuvants induces durable protection in mice.
2022; 7 (1): 55
Adjuvants enhance the magnitude and the durability of the immune response to vaccines. However, there is a paucity of comparative studies on the nature of the immune responses stimulated by leading adjuvant candidates. In this study, we compared five clinically relevant adjuvants in mice-alum, AS03 (a squalene-based adjuvant supplemented with α-tocopherol), AS37 (a TLR7 ligand emulsified in alum), CpG1018 (a TLR9 ligand emulsified in alum), O/W 1849101 (a squalene-based adjuvant)-for their capacity to stimulate immune responses when combined with a subunit vaccine under clinical development. We found that all four of the adjuvant candidates surpassed alum with respect to their capacity to induce enhanced and durable antigen-specific antibody responses. The TLR-agonist-based adjuvants CpG1018 (TLR9) and AS37 (TLR7) induced Th1-skewed CD4+ T cell responses, while alum, O/W, and AS03 induced a balanced Th1/Th2 response. Consistent with this, adjuvants induced distinct patterns of early innate responses. Finally, vaccines adjuvanted with AS03, AS37, and CpG1018/alum-induced durable neutralizing-antibody responses and significant protection against the B.1.351 variant 7 months following immunization. These results, together with our recent results from an identical study in non-human primates (NHPs), provide a comparative benchmarking of five clinically relevant vaccine adjuvants for their capacity to stimulate immunity to a subunit vaccine, demonstrating the capacity of adjuvanted SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccines to provide durable protection against the B.1.351 variant. Furthermore, these results reveal differences between the widely-used C57BL/6 mouse strain and NHP animal models, highlighting the importance of species selection for future vaccine and adjuvant studies.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41541-022-00472-2
View details for PubMedID 35606518
Mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunity to the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine.
Despite the success of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine, the immunological mechanisms that underlie its efficacy are poorly understood. Here we analyzed the innate and adaptive responses to BNT162b2 in mice, and show that immunization stimulated potent antibody and antigen-specific T cell responses, as well as strikingly enhanced innate responses after secondary immunization, which was concurrent with enhanced serum interferon (IFN)-gamma levels 1d following secondary immunization. Notably, we found that natural killer cells and CD8+ T cells in the draining lymph nodes are the major producers of this circulating IFN-gamma. Analysis of knockout mice revealed that induction of antibody and T cell responses to BNT162b2 was not dependent on signaling via Toll-like receptors 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 nor inflammasome activation, nor the necroptosis or pyroptosis cell death pathways. Rather, the CD8+ T cell response induced by BNT162b2 was dependent on type I interferon-dependent MDA5 signaling. These results provide insights into the molecular mechanisms by which the BNT162b2 vaccine stimulates immune responses.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41590-022-01163-9
View details for PubMedID 35288714
Systems biological assessment of human immunity to BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination.
The emergency use authorization of two COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in less than a year since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, represents a landmark in vaccinology1,2. Yet, how mRNA vaccines stimulate the immune system to elicit protective immune responses is unknown. Here we used a systems biological approach to comprehensively profile the innate and adaptive immune responses in 56 healthy volunteers vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine. Vaccination resulted in robust production of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) against the parent strain and the variant of concern, B.1.351, but no induction of autoantibodies, and significant increases in antigen-specific polyfunctional CD4 and CD8 T cells after the second dose. The innate response induced within the first 2 days of booster vaccination was profoundly increased, relative to the response at corresponding times after priming. Thus, there was a striking increase in the: (i) frequency of CD14+CD16+ inflammatory monocytes; (ii) concentration of IFN- y in the plasma, which correlated with enhanced pSTAT3 and pSTAT1 levels in monocytes and T cells; and (iii) transcriptional signatures of innate responses characteristic of antiviral vaccine responses against pandemic influenza, HIV and Ebola, within 2 days following booster vaccination compared to primary vaccination. Consistent with these observations, single-cell transcriptomics analysis of 242,479 leukocytes demonstrated a ~100-fold increase in the frequency of a myeloid cluster, enriched in a signature of interferon-response transcription factors (TFs) and reduced in AP-1 TFs, one day after secondary immunization, at day 21. Finally, we delineated distinct molecular pathways of innate activation that correlate with CD8 T cell and nAb responses and identified an early monocyte-related signature that was associated with the breadth of the nAb response against the B1.351 variant strain. Collectively, these data provide insights into the immune responses induced by mRNA vaccines and demonstrate their capacity to stimulate an enhanced innate response following booster immunization.
View details for DOI 10.21203/rs.3.rs-438662/v1
View details for PubMedID 34013244
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8132234
Systems vaccinology of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in humans.
The emergency use authorization of two mRNA vaccines in less than a year since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 represents a landmark in vaccinology1,2. Yet, how mRNA vaccines stimulate the immune system to elicit protective immune responses is unknown. Here we used a systems vaccinology approach to comprehensively profile the innate and adaptive immune responses of 56 healthy volunteers vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine. Vaccination resulted in robust production of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) against the parent Wuhan strain and, to a lesser extent, the B.1.351 strain, and significant increases in antigen-specific polyfunctional CD4 and CD8 T cells after the second dose. Booster vaccination stimulated a strikingly enhanced innate immune response compared to primary vaccination, evidenced by a greater: (i) frequency of CD14+CD16+ inflammatory monocytes; (ii) concentration of plasma IFN-g; (iii) transcriptional signature of innate antiviral immunity. Consistent with these observations, single-cell transcriptomics analysis demonstrated a ~100-fold increase in the frequency of a myeloid cell cluster, enriched in interferon-response transcription factors (TFs) and reduced in AP-1 TFs, following secondary immunization. Finally, we identified distinct innate pathways associated with CD8 T cell and nAb responses, and show that a monocyte-related signature correlates with the nAb response against the B.1.351 variant strain. Collectively, these data provide insights into immune responses induced by mRNA vaccination and demonstrate its capacity to prime the innate immune system to mount a more potent response following booster immunization.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-021-03791-x
View details for PubMedID 34252919
Systems biological assessment of immunity to mild versus severe COVID-19 infection in humans.
Science (New York, N.Y.)
COVID-19 represents a global crisis, yet major knowledge gaps remain about human immunity to SARS-CoV-2. We analyzed immune responses in 76 COVID-19 patients and 69 healthy individuals from Hong Kong and Atlanta. In PBMCs of COVID-19 patients, there was reduced expression of HLA-DR and pro-inflammatory cytokines by myeloid cells, and impaired mTOR-signaling and IFN-alpha production by plasmacytoid DCs. In contrast, there were enhanced plasma levels of inflammatory mediators, including EN-RAGE, TNFSF14, and oncostatin-M, which correlated with disease severity and increased bacterial products in human plasma. Single-cell transcriptomics revealed no type-I IFN, reduced HLA-DR in myeloid cells of severe patients, and transient expression of IFN-stimulated genes. This was consistent with bulk PBMC transcriptomics, and transient, low plasma IFN-alpha levels during infection. These results reveal mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets for COVID-19.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.abc6261
View details for PubMedID 32788292