An inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine induced cross-neutralizing persisting antibodies and protected against challenge in small animals

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Vaccines have relieved the public health burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and globally inactivated vaccines are most widely used. However, poor vaccination accessibility and waning immunity maintain the pandemic, driving emergence of variants. We developed an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 (I-SARS-CoV-2) vaccine based on a viral isolate with the Spike mutation D614G, produced in Vero cells in a scalable bioreactor, inactivated with β-propiolactone, purified by membrane-based steric exclusion chromatography, and adjuvanted with MF59-like adjuvant AddaVax. I-SARS-CoV-2 and a derived split vaccine induced persisting neutralizing antibodies in mice; moreover, lyophilized antigen was immunogenic. Following homologous challenge, I-SARS-CoV-2 immunized hamsters were protected against disease and lung pathology. In contrast with reports for widely used vaccines, hamster plasma similarly neutralized the homologous and the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant viruses, whereas the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant was neutralized less efficiently. Applied bioprocessing approaches offer advantages regarding scalability and production, potentially benefitting worldwide vaccine coverage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105949
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Immune response, Immunology, Virology

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