Profile Url: peter-palese
Researcher at Icahn School of Medicine
Influenza viruses grown in eggs for the purposes of vaccine generation often acquire mutations during egg adaptation or possess differential glycosylation patterns than viruses circulating amongst humans. Here, we report that seasonal influenza virus vaccines possess an egg-derived sulfated N-acetyllactosamine (LacNAc) that is an antigenic decoy. Half of subjects that received an egg-grown vaccine mounted an antibody response against this egg-derived antigen. Egg-binding monoclonal antibodies specifically bind viruses grown in eggs, but not viruses grown in other chicken derived cells, suggesting only egg-grown vaccines can induce anti-LacNAc antibodies. Notably, antibodies against the sulfated LacNAc utilized a restricted antibody repertoire and possessed features of natural antibodies, as most antibodies were IgM and have simple heavy chain complementarity determining region 3. By analyzing a public dataset of influenza virus vaccine induced plasmablasts, we discovered egg-binding public clonotypes that were shared across studies. Together, this study shows that egg-grown vaccines can induce antibodies against an egg-associated glycan, which may divert the host immune response away from protective epitopes.
Broadly neutralizing antibodies against influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) have the potential to provide universal protection against influenza virus infections. Here, we report a distinct class of broadly neutralizing antibodies targeting an epitope toward the bottom of the HA stalk domain where HA is "anchored" to the viral membrane. Antibodies targeting this membrane-proximal anchor epitope utilized a highly restricted repertoire, which encode for two conserved motifs responsible for HA binding. Anchor targeting B cells were common in the human memory B cell repertoire across subjects, indicating pre-existing immunity against this epitope. Antibodies against the anchor epitope at both the serological and monoclonal antibody levels were potently induced in humans by a chimeric HA vaccine, a potential universal influenza virus vaccine. Altogether, this study reveals an underappreciated class of broadly neutralizing antibodies against H1-expressing viruses that can be robustly recalled by a candidate universal influenza virus vaccine.
A successful SARS-CoV-2 vaccine must be not only safe and protective but must also meet the demand on a global scale at low cost. Using the current influenza virus vaccine production capacity to manufacture an egg-based inactivated Newcastle disease virus (NDV)/SARS-CoV-2 vaccine would meet that challenge. Here, we report pre-clinical evaluations of an inactivated NDV chimera stably expressing the membrane-anchored form of the spike (NDV-S) as a potent COVID-19 vaccine in mice and hamsters. The inactivated NDV-S vaccine was immunogenic, inducing strong binding and/or neutralizing antibodies in both animal models. More importantly, the inactivated NDV-S vaccine protected animals from SARS-CoV-2 infections or significantly attenuated SARS-CoV-2 induced disease. In the presence of an adjuvant, antigen-sparing could be achieved, which would further reduce the cost while maintaining the protective efficacy of the vaccine. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
Due to the lack of protective immunity of humans towards the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2, this virus has caused a massive pandemic across the world resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths. Thus, a vaccine is urgently needed to contain the spread of the virus. Here, we describe Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vector vaccines expressing the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 in its wild type or a pre-fusion membrane anchored format. All described NDV vector vaccines grow to high titers in embryonated chicken eggs. In a proof of principle mouse study, we report that the NDV vector vaccines elicit high levels of antibodies that are neutralizing when the vaccine is given intramuscularly. Importantly, these COVID-19 vaccine candidates protect mice from a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 challenge with no detectable viral titer and viral antigen in the lungs. Evidence before this study The spike (S) protein of the SARS-CoV-2 is the major antigen that notably induces neutralizing antibodies to block viral entry. Many COVID-19 vaccines are under development, among them viral vectors expressing the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 exhibit many benefits. Viral vector vaccines have the potential of being used as both live or inactivated vaccines and they can induce Th1 and Th2-based immune responses following different immunization regimens. Additionally, viral vector vaccines can be handled under BSL-2 conditions and they grow to high titers in cell cultures or other species restricted-hosts. For a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, several viral vectors are being tested, such as adenovirus, measles virus and Modified vaccinia Ankara. Added value of this study The NDV vector vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 described in this study has advantages similar to those of other viral vector vaccines. But the NDV vector can be amplified in embryonated chicken eggs, which allows for high yields and low costs per dose. Also, the NDV vector is not a human pathogen, therefore the delivery of the foreign antigen would not be compromised by any pre-existing immunity in humans. Finally, NDV has a very good safety record in humans, as it has been used in many oncolytic virus trials. This study provides an important option for a cost-effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Implications of all the available evidence This study informs of the value of a viral vector vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. Specifically, for this NDV based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, the existing egg-based influenza virus vaccine manufactures in the U.S. and worldwide would have the capacity to rapidly produce hundreds of millions of doses to mitigate the consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.