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Single-shot Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques

Abstract

A safe and effective vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may be required to end the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic1–8. For global deployment and pandemic control, a vaccine that requires only a single immunization would be optimal. Here we show the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a single dose of adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector-based vaccines expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein in nonhuman primates. Fifty-two rhesus macaques were immunized with Ad26 vectors encoding S variants or sham control and were challenged with SARS-CoV-2 by the intranasal and intratracheal routes9,10. The optimal Ad26 vaccine induced robust neutralizing antibody responses and provided complete or near-complete protection in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal swabs following SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibody titres correlated with protective efficacy, suggesting an immune correlate of protection. These data demonstrate robust single-shot vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 in nonhuman primates. The optimal Ad26 vector-based vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, termed Ad26.COV2.S, is currently being evaluated in clinical trials.

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Correspondence to Dan H. Barouch.

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Mercado, N.B., Zahn, R., Wegmann, F. et al. Single-shot Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques. Nature (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2607-z

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