Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35484842
Link to DOI – 10.1016/j.ymthe.2022.04.016
Mol Ther 2022 Apr; ():
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern emerge, the adaptive immunity initially induced by the first-generation COVID-19 vaccines starts waning and needs to be strengthened and broadened in specificity. Vaccination by the nasal route induces mucosal, humoral and cellular immunity at the entry point of SARS-CoV-2 into the host organism and has been shown to be the most effective for reducing viral transmission. The lentiviral vaccination vector (LV) is particularly suitable for this route of immunization due to its non-cytopathic, non-replicative and scarcely inflammatory properties. Here, to set up an optimized cross-protective intranasal booster against COVID-19, we generated an LV encoding stabilized Spike of SARS-CoV-2 Beta variant (LV::SBeta-2P). mRNA vaccine-primed and -boosted mice, with waning primary humoral immunity at 4 months post-vaccination, were boosted intranasally with LV::SBeta-2P. Strong boost effect was detected on cross-sero-neutralizing activity and systemic T-cell immunity. In addition, mucosal anti-Spike IgG and IgA, lung resident B cells, and effector memory and resident T cells were efficiently induced, correlating with complete pulmonary protection against the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, demonstrating the suitability of the LV::SBeta-2P vaccine candidate as an intranasal booster against COVID-19. LV::SBeta-2P vaccination was also fully protective against Omicron infection of the lungs and central nervous system, in the highly susceptible B6.K18-hACE2IP-THV transgenic mice.