The coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has already claimed millions of lives and remains one of the major catastrophes in the recorded history. While mitigation and control strategies provide short term solutions, vaccines play critical roles in long term control of the disease. Recent emergence of potentially vaccine-resistant and novel variants necessitated testing and deployment of novel technologies that are safe, effective, stable, easy to administer, and inexpensive to produce. Here we developed three recombinant Newcastle disease virus (rNDV) vectored vaccines and assessed their immunogenicity, safety, and protective efficacy against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in mice and hamsters. Intranasal administration of rNDV-based vaccine candidates elicited high levels of neutralizing antibodies. Importantly, the nasally administrated vaccine prevented lung damage, and significantly reduced viral load in the respiratory tract of vaccinated animal which was compounded by profound humoral immune responses. Taken together, the presented NDV-based vaccine candidates fully protected animals against SARS-CoV-2 challenge and warrants evaluation in a Phase I human clinical trial as a promising tool in the fight against COVID-19.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the National Institute of Health from Peru (INS) for providing the SARS-CoV-2 virus aliquots and for their participation in the virus neutralization, viral load and viability tests. We are grateful for the excellent technical assistance, fruitful discussions and selfless support to the development of the project done by Dr. Paquita Garcia, Dr. Henri Bailon, MSc. Miryam Palomino, Lic. Maribel Huaringa, and BSc. Pamela Ríos researchers of the Laboratory of Virology of the INS. We acknowledge Dr. Maria Salas, for her advice in the toxicity study. We are grateful to Dr. Muhammad Munir, Dr. Daniela Kirwan, Dr. Valerie Paz-Soldan, Dr. Gabriela Salmon, and David Requena for their comments and criticisms to the manuscript.
This study was funded by FARVET. The National Council of Science and Technology from Peru (CONCYTEC-FONDECYT) supported FARVET in the construction of the BSL3 facility where the challenge study in hamsters was performed.
© 2022, The Author(s).