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Mosaic nanoparticles elicit cross-reactive immune responses to zoonotic coronaviruses in mice

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Science  12 Jan 2021:
eabf6840
DOI: 10.1126/science.abf6840

Abstract

Protection against SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-related emergent zoonotic coronaviruses is urgently needed. We made homotypic nanoparticles displaying the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 or co-displaying SARS-CoV-2 RBD along with RBDs from animal betacoronaviruses that represent threats to humans (mosaic nanoparticles; 4-8 distinct RBDs). Mice immunized with RBD-nanoparticles, but not soluble antigen, elicited cross-reactive binding and neutralization responses. Mosaic-RBD-nanoparticles elicited antibodies with superior cross-reactive recognition of heterologous RBDs compared to sera from immunizations with homotypic SARS-CoV-2–RBD-nanoparticles or COVID-19 convalescent human plasmas. Moreover, sera from mosaic-RBD–immunized mice neutralized heterologous pseudotyped coronaviruses equivalently or better after priming than sera from homotypic SARS-CoV-2–RBD-nanoparticle immunizations, demonstrating no immunogenicity loss against particular RBDs resulting from co-display. A single immunization with mosaic-RBD-nanoparticles provides a potential strategy to simultaneously protect against SARS-CoV-2 and emerging zoonotic coronaviruses.

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