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ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine prevents SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in rhesus macaques

Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 20191,2 and is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic3. Vaccines are an essential countermeasure urgently needed to control the pandemic4. Here, we show that the adenovirus-vectored vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, encoding the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, is immunogenic in mice, eliciting a robust humoral and cell-mediated response. This response was predominantly Th1, as demonstrated by IgG subclass and cytokine expression profiling. Vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (prime-only and prime-boost regimen) induced a balanced Th1/Th2 humoral and cellular immune response in rhesus macaques. We observed a significantly reduced viral load in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lower respiratory tract tissue of vaccinated rhesus macaques challenged with SARS-CoV-2 compared with control animals, and no pneumonia was observed in vaccinated animals. However, there was no difference in nasal shedding between vaccinated and control animals. Importantly, no evidence of immune-enhanced disease following viral challenge in vaccinated animals was observed. Safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 against symptomatic PCR-positive COVID-19 disease will now be assessed in randomised controlled human clinical trials.

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Correspondence to Sarah C. Gilbert or Vincent J. Munster.

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van Doremalen, N., Lambe, T., Spencer, A. et al. ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine prevents SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in rhesus macaques. Nature (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2608-y

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