Broadly neutralizing antibodies to SARS-related viruses can be readily induced in rhesus macaques
Jonathan L. Torres,
Stephen A Rawlings,
Darrell J Irvine,
Andrew B. Ward,
Ian A. Wilson,
Dennis R. Burton,
Posted 06 Jul 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.07.05.451222
Posted 06 Jul 2021
To prepare for future coronavirus (CoV) pandemics, it is desirable to generate vaccines capable of eliciting neutralizing antibody responses against multiple CoVs. Because of the phylogenetic similarity to humans, rhesus macaques are an animal model of choice for many virus-challenge and vaccine-evaluation studies, including SARS-CoV-2. Here, we show that immunization of macaques with SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein generates potent receptor binding domain cross-neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses to both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1, in contrast to human infection or vaccination where responses are typically SARS-CoV-2-specific. Furthermore, the macaque nAbs are equally effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Structural studies show that different immunodominant sites are targeted by the two primate species. Human antibodies generally target epitopes strongly overlapping the ACE2 receptor binding site (RBS), whereas the macaque antibodies recognize a relatively conserved region proximal to the RBS that represents another potential pan-SARS-related virus site rarely targeted by human antibodies. B cell repertoire differences between the two primates appear to significantly influence the vaccine response and suggest care in the use of rhesus macaques in evaluation of vaccines to SARS-related viruses intended for human use.
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