Since the original outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, several rapidly spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) have emerged. Here, we show that a single dose of Ad26.COV2.S (based on the Wuhan-Hu-1 spike variant) protects against the Gamma and Delta variants in naive hamsters, supporting the observed maintained vaccine efficacy in humans against these VOC. Adapted spike-based booster vaccines targeting Omicron variants have now been authorized in the absence of human efficacy data. We evaluated the immunogenicity and efficacy of Ad26.COV2.S.529 (encoding a stabilized Omicron BA.1 spike) in naive mice and in hamsters with pre-existing immunity to the Wuhan-Hu-1 spike. In naive mice, Ad26.COV2.S.529 elicited higher neutralizing antibody titers against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 and BA.2, compared with Ad26.COV2.S. However, neutralizing titers against the SARS-CoV-2 B.1 (D614G) and Delta variants were lower after primary vaccination with Ad26.COV2.S.529 compared with Ad26.COV2.S. In contrast, we found comparable Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 neutralizing titers in hamsters with pre-existing Wuhan-Hu-1 spike immunity after vaccination with Ad26.COV2.S, Ad26.COV2.S.529 or a combination of the two vaccines. Moreover, all three vaccine modalities induced equivalent protection against Omicron BA.2 challenge in these animals. Overall, our data suggest that an Omicron BA.1-based booster in rodents does not improve immunogenicity and efficacy against Omicron BA.2 over an Ad26.COV2.S booster in a setting of pre-existing immunity to SARS-CoV-2.

Fuente: npj Vaccines

Published: 16 March 2023