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Participants in South Africa’s first clinical trial for a vaccine against COVID-19 are to be vaccinated this week.
Indirect effects of the covid-19 pandemic on childhood infection in England: population based observational study.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on hospital admission rates and mortality outcomes for childhood respiratory infections, severe invasive infections, and vaccine preventable disease in England. DESIGN: Population based observational study of 19 common childhood respiratory, severe invasive, and vaccine preventable infections, comparing hospital admission rates and mortality outcomes before and after the onset of the pandemic in England. SETTING: Hospital admission data from every NHS hospital in England from 1 March 2017 to 30 June 2021 with record linkage to national mortality data. POPULATION: Children aged 0-14 years admitted to an NHS hospital with a selected childhood infection from 1 March 2017 to 30 June 2021. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: For each infection, numbers of hospital admissions every month from 1 March 2017 to 30 June 2021, percentage changes in the number of hospital admissions before and after 1 March 2020, and adjusted odds ratios to compare 60 day case fatality outcomes before and after 1 March 2020. RESULTS: After 1 March 2020, substantial and sustained reductions in hospital admissions were found for all but one of the 19 infective conditions studied. Among the respiratory infections, the greatest percentage reductions were for influenza (mean annual number admitted between 1 March 2017 and 29 February 2020 was 5379 and number of children admitted from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021 was 304, 94% reduction, 95% confidence interval 89% to 97%), and bronchiolitis (from 51 655 to 9423, 82% reduction, 95% confidence interval 79% to 84%). Among the severe invasive infections, the greatest reduction was for meningitis (50% reduction, 47% to 52%). For the vaccine preventable infections, reductions ranged from 53% (32% to 68%) for mumps to 90% (80% to 95%) for measles. Reductions were seen across all demographic subgroups and in children with underlying comorbidities. Corresponding decreases were also found for the absolute numbers of 60 day case fatalities, although the proportion of children admitted for pneumonia who died within 60 days increased (age-sex adjusted odds ratio 1.71, 95% confidence interval 1.43 to 2.05). More recent data indicate that some respiratory infections increased to higher levels than usual after May 2021. CONCLUSIONS: During the covid-19 pandemic, a range of behavioural changes (adoption of non-pharmacological interventions) and societal strategies (school closures, lockdowns, and restricted travel) were used to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which also reduced admissions for common and severe childhood infections. Continued monitoring of these infections is required as social restrictions evolve.
Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK
BACKGROUND: A safe and efficacious vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), if deployed with high coverage, could contribute to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in a pooled interim analysis of four trials. METHODS: This analysis includes data from four ongoing blinded, randomised, controlled trials done across the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Participants aged 18 years and older were randomly assigned (1:1) to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or control (meningococcal group A, C, W, and Y conjugate vaccine or saline). Participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group received two doses containing 5 x 10(10) viral particles (standard dose; SD/SD cohort); a subset in the UK trial received a half dose as their first dose (low dose) and a standard dose as their second dose (LD/SD cohort). The primary efficacy analysis included symptomatic COVID-19 in seronegative participants with a nucleic acid amplification test-positive swab more than 14 days after a second dose of vaccine. Participants were analysed according to treatment received, with data cutoff on Nov 4, 2020. Vaccine efficacy was calculated as 1 - relative risk derived from a robust Poisson regression model adjusted for age. Studies are registered at ISRCTN89951424 and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606, NCT04400838, and NCT04444674. FINDINGS: Between April 23 and Nov 4, 2020, 23 848 participants were enrolled and 11 636 participants (7548 in the UK, 4088 in Brazil) were included in the interim primary efficacy analysis. In participants who received two standard doses, vaccine efficacy was 62.1% (95% CI 41.0-75.7; 27 [0.6%] of 4440 in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group vs71 [1.6%] of 4455 in the control group) and in participants who received a low dose followed by a standard dose, efficacy was 90.0% (67.4-97.0; three [0.2%] of 1367 vs 30 [2.2%] of 1374; pinteraction=0.010). Overall vaccine efficacy across both groups was 70.4% (95.8% CI 54.8-80.6; 30 [0.5%] of 5807 vs 101 [1.7%] of 5829). From 21 days after the first dose, there were ten cases hospitalised for COVID-19, all in the control arm; two were classified as severe COVID-19, including one death. There were 74 341 person-months of safety follow-up (median 3.4 months, IQR 1.3-4.8): 175 severe adverse events occurred in 168 participants, 84 events in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 91 in the control group. Three events were classified as possibly related to a vaccine: one in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, one in the control group, and one in a participant who remains masked to group allocation. INTERPRETATION: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 has an acceptable safety profile and has been found to be efficacious against symptomatic COVID-19 in this interim analysis of ongoing clinical trials. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lemann Foundation, Rede D'Or, Brava and Telles Foundation, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland's NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca.
Several COVID-19 vaccines have shown good efficacy in clinical trials, but there remains uncertainty about the efficacy of vaccines against different variants. Here, we investigate the efficacy of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) against symptomatic COVID-19 in a post-hoc exploratory analysis of a Phase 3 randomised trial in Brazil (trial registration ISRCTN89951424). Nose and throat swabs were tested by PCR in symptomatic participants. Sequencing and genotyping of swabs were performed to determine the lineages of SARS-CoV-2 circulating during the study. Protection against any symptomatic COVID-19 caused by the Zeta (P.2) variant was assessed in 153 cases with vaccine efficacy (VE) of 69% (95% CI 55, 78). 49 cases of B.1.1.28 occurred and VE was 73% (46, 86). The Gamma (P.1) variant arose later in the trial and fewer cases (N = 18) were available for analysis. VE was 64% (−2, 87). ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 provided 95% protection (95% CI 61%, 99%) against hospitalisation due to COVID-19. In summary, we report that ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 protects against emerging variants in Brazil despite the presence of the spike protein mutation E484K.
Safety and immunogenicity of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine administered in a prime-boost regimen in young and old adults (COV002): a single-blind, randomised, controlled, phase 2/3 trial
BACKGROUND: Older adults (aged >/=70 years) are at increased risk of severe disease and death if they develop COVID-19 and are therefore a priority for immunisation should an efficacious vaccine be developed. Immunogenicity of vaccines is often worse in older adults as a result of immunosenescence. We have reported the immunogenicity of a novel chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222), in young adults, and now describe the safety and immunogenicity of this vaccine in a wider range of participants, including adults aged 70 years and older. METHODS: In this report of the phase 2 component of a single-blind, randomised, controlled, phase 2/3 trial (COV002), healthy adults aged 18 years and older were enrolled at two UK clinical research facilities, in an age-escalation manner, into 18-55 years, 56-69 years, and 70 years and older immunogenicity subgroups. Participants were eligible if they did not have severe or uncontrolled medical comorbidities or a high frailty score (if aged >/=65 years). First, participants were recruited to a low-dose cohort, and within each age group, participants were randomly assigned to receive either intramuscular ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (2.2 x 10(10) virus particles) or a control vaccine, MenACWY, using block randomisation and stratified by age and dose group and study site, using the following ratios: in the 18-55 years group, 1:1 to either two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or two doses of MenACWY; in the 56-69 years group, 3:1:3:1 to one dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, one dose of MenACWY, two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or two doses of MenACWY; and in the 70 years and older, 5:1:5:1 to one dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, one dose of MenACWY, two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or two doses of MenACWY. Prime-booster regimens were given 28 days apart. Participants were then recruited to the standard-dose cohort (3.5-6.5 x 10(10) virus particles of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) and the same randomisation procedures were followed, except the 18-55 years group was assigned in a 5:1 ratio to two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or two doses of MenACWY. Participants and investigators, but not staff administering the vaccine, were masked to vaccine allocation. The specific objectives of this report were to assess the safety and humoral and cellular immunogenicity of a single-dose and two-dose schedule in adults older than 55 years. Humoral responses at baseline and after each vaccination until 1 year after the booster were assessed using an in-house standardised ELISA, a multiplex immunoassay, and a live severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) microneutralisation assay (MNA80). Cellular responses were assessed using an ex-vivo IFN-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot assay. The coprimary outcomes of the trial were efficacy, as measured by the number of cases of symptomatic, virologically confirmed COVID-19, and safety, as measured by the occurrence of serious adverse events. Analyses were by group allocation in participants who received the vaccine. Here, we report the preliminary findings on safety, reactogenicity, and cellular and humoral immune responses. This study is ongoing and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04400838, and ISRCTN, 15281137. FINDINGS: Between May 30 and Aug 8, 2020, 560 participants were enrolled: 160 aged 18-55 years (100 assigned to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, 60 assigned to MenACWY), 160 aged 56-69 years (120 assigned to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19: 40 assigned to MenACWY), and 240 aged 70 years and older (200 assigned to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19: 40 assigned to MenACWY). Seven participants did not receive the boost dose of their assigned two-dose regimen, one participant received the incorrect vaccine, and three were excluded from immunogenicity analyses due to incorrectly labelled samples. 280 (50%) of 552 analysable participants were female. Local and systemic reactions were more common in participants given ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 than in those given the control vaccine, and similar in nature to those previously reported (injection-site pain, feeling feverish, muscle ache, headache), but were less common in older adults (aged >/=56 years) than younger adults. In those receiving two standard doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, after the prime vaccination local reactions were reported in 43 (88%) of 49 participants in the 18-55 years group, 22 (73%) of 30 in the 56-69 years group, and 30 (61%) of 49 in the 70 years and older group, and systemic reactions in 42 (86%) participants in the 18-55 years group, 23 (77%) in the 56-69 years group, and 32 (65%) in the 70 years and older group. As of Oct 26, 2020, 13 serious adverse events occurred during the study period, none of which were considered to be related to either study vaccine. In participants who received two doses of vaccine, median anti-spike SARS-CoV-2 IgG responses 28 days after the boost dose were similar across the three age cohorts (standard-dose groups: 18-55 years, 20 713 arbitrary units [AU]/mL [IQR 13 898-33 550], n=39; 56-69 years, 16 170 AU/mL [10 233-40 353], n=26; and >/=70 years 17 561 AU/mL [9705-37 796], n=47; p=0.68). Neutralising antibody titres after a boost dose were similar across all age groups (median MNA80 at day 42 in the standard-dose groups: 18-55 years, 193 [IQR 113-238], n=39; 56-69 years, 144 [119-347], n=20; and >/=70 years, 161 [73-323], n=47; p=0.40). By 14 days after the boost dose, 208 (>99%) of 209 boosted participants had neutralising antibody responses. T-cell responses peaked at day 14 after a single standard dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (18-55 years: median 1187 spot-forming cells [SFCs] per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells [IQR 841-2428], n=24; 56-69 years: 797 SFCs [383-1817], n=29; and >/=70 years: 977 SFCs [458-1914], n=48). INTERPRETATION: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 appears to be better tolerated in older adults than in younger adults and has similar immunogenicity across all age groups after a boost dose. Further assessment of the efficacy of this vaccine is warranted in all age groups and individuals with comorbidities. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midlands NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca.
MRI-guided histology of TDP-43 knock-in mice implicates parvalbumin interneuron loss, impaired neurogenesis and aberrant neurodevelopment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia are overlapping diseases in which MRI reveals brain structural changes in advance of symptom onset. Recapitulating these changes in preclinical models would help to improve our understanding of the molecular causes underlying regionally selective brain atrophy in early disease. We therefore investigated the translational potential of the TDP-43Q331K knock-in mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia using MRI. We performed in vivo MRI of TDP-43Q331K knock-in mice. Regions of significant volume change were chosen for post-mortem brain tissue analyses. Ex vivo computed tomography was performed to investigate skull shape. Parvalbumin neuron density was quantified in post-mortem amyotrophic lateral sclerosis frontal cortex. Adult mutants demonstrated parenchymal volume reductions affecting the frontal lobe and entorhinal cortex in a manner reminiscent of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia. Subcortical, cerebellar and brain stem regions were also affected in line with observations in pre-symptomatic carriers of mutations in C9orf72, the commonest genetic cause of both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Volume loss was also observed in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, along with ventricular enlargement. Immunohistochemistry revealed reduced parvalbumin interneurons as a potential cellular correlate of MRI changes in mutant mice. By contrast, microglia was in a disease activated state even in the absence of brain volume loss. A reduction in immature neurons was found in the dentate gyrus, indicative of impaired adult neurogenesis, while a paucity of parvalbumin interneurons in P14 mutant mice suggests that TDP-43Q331K disrupts neurodevelopment. Computerized tomography imaging showed altered skull morphology in mutants, further suggesting a role for TDP-43Q331K in development. Finally, analysis of human post-mortem brains confirmed a paucity of parvalbumin interneurons in the prefrontal cortex in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis linked to C9orf72 mutations. Regional brain MRI changes seen in human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia are recapitulated in TDP-43Q331K knock-in mice. By marrying in vivo imaging with targeted histology, we can unravel cellular and molecular processes underlying selective brain vulnerability in human disease. As well as helping to understand the earliest causes of disease, our MRI and histological markers will be valuable in assessing the efficacy of putative therapeutics in TDP-43Q331K knock-in mice.
Resolving the cellular specificity of TSPO imaging in a rat model of peripherally-induced neuroinflammation.
The increased expression of 18 kDa Translocator protein (TSPO) is one of the few available biomarkers of neuroinflammation that can be assessed in humans in vivo by positron emission tomography (PET). TSPO PET imaging of the central nervous system (CNS) has been widely undertaken, but to date no clear consensus has been reached about its utility in brain disorders. One reason for this could be because the interpretation of TSPO PET signal remains challenging, given the cellular heterogeneity and ubiquity of TSPO in the brain. The aim of the current study was to ascertain if TSPO PET imaging can be used to detect neuroinflammation induced by a peripheral treatment with a low dose of the endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), in a rat model (ip LPS), and investigate the origin of TSPO signal changes in terms of their cellular sources and regional distribution. An initial pilot study utilising both [18F]DPA-714 and [11C]PK11195 TSPO radiotracers demonstrated [18F]DPA-714 to exhibit a significantly higher lesion-related signal in the intracerebral LPS rat model (ic LPS) than [11C]PK11195. Subsequently, [18F]DPA-714 was selected for use in the ip LPS study. Twenty-four hours after ip LPS, there was an increased uptake of [18F]DPA-714 across the whole brain. Further analyses of regions of interest, using immunohistochemistry and RNAscope Multiplex fluorescence V2 in situ hybridization technology, showed TSPO expression in microglia, monocyte derived-macrophages, astrocytes, neurons and endothelial cells. The expression of TSPO was significantly increased after ip LPS in a region-dependent manner: with increased microglia, monocyte-derived macrophages and astrocytes in the substantia nigra, in contrast to the hippocampus where TSPO was mostly confined to microglia and astrocytes. In summary, our data demonstrate the robust detection of peripherally-induced neuroinflammation in the CNS utilising the TSPO PET radiotracer, [18F]DPA-714, and importantly, confirm that the resultant increase in TSPO signal increase arises mostly from a combination of microglia, astrocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages.
Estimation of absorbed radiation doses to skin and S-values for organs at risk due to nasal administration of PET agents using Monte Carlo simulations.
PURPOSE: The intranasal (IN) administration of radiopharmaceuticals is of interest in being a viable route for the delivery of radiopharmaceuticals that do not ordinarily cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). However, to be viable in a patient population, good image quality as well as safety of the administration should be demonstrated. This work provides radiation dosimetry calculations and simulations related to the radiation safety of performing such experiments in a human cohort. METHODS: We performed Monte Carlo (MC) simulations to estimate radiation dose to the skin inside a cylindrical model of the nasal cavity assuming a homogenous distribution layer of 11 C and 18 F and calculated a geometry conversion factor (FP-C ) which can be used to convert from a planar geometry to a cylindrical geometry using more widely available software tools. We compared radiation doses from our simulated cylindrical geometry with the planar dose estimates employing our geometry conversion factor from VARSKIN 6.1 software and also from an analytical equation. Furthermore, in order to estimate radiation dosimetry to surrounding organs of interest, we performed a voxelized MC simulation of a fixed radioactivity inside the nasal cavity and calculated S-values to organs such as the eyes, thyroid, and brain. RESULTS: MC simulations of contamination scenarios using planar absorbed doses of 15.50 and 8.60 mGy/MBq for 18 F and 11 C, respectively, and 35.70 and 19.80 mGy/MBq per hour for cylindrical geometries, leading to determination of an FP-C of 2.3. Planar absorbed doses (also in units of mGy/MBq) determined by the analytical equation were 16.96 and 8.68 (18 F and 11 C) and using VARSKIN were 16.60 and 9.26 (18 F and 11 C), respectively. Application of FP-C to these results demonstrates values with a maximum difference of 9.41% from the cylindrical geometry MC calculation, demonstrating that when accounting for geometry, more simplistic techniques can be utilized to estimate IN dosimetry. Voxelized MC simulations of radiation dosimetry from a fixed source of 1 MBq of activity confined to the nasal cavity resulted in S-values to the thyroid, eyes, and brain of 1.72 x 10-6 , 1.93 x 10-5 , and 3.51 x 10-6 mGy/MBq·s, respectively, for 18 F and 1.80 × 10-6 , 1.95 × 10-5 , and 3.54 × 10-6 mGy/MBq·s for 11 C. CONCLUSION: Dosimetry concerns about IN administrations of PET radiotracers should be considered before clinical use. Values presented in the simulations such as the S-values can be further used for assessment of absorbed doses in cases of IN administration, and can be used to develop and adapt specific study protocols. All three presented methods provided similar results when considering the use of a geometry conversion factor for planar to cylindrical geometry, demonstrating that standard tools rather than dedicate MC simulations may be used to perform dose calculations in nasal administrations.
GABAA and NMDA receptor density alterations and their behavioral correlates in the gestational methylazoxymethanol acetate model for schizophrenia.
Hippocampal hyperactivity driven by GABAergic interneuron deficits and NMDA receptor hypofunction is associated with the hyperdopaminergic state often observed in schizophrenia. Furthermore, previous research in the methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) rat model has demonstrated that repeated peripubertal diazepam administration can prevent the emergence of adult hippocampal hyperactivity, dopamine-system hyperactivity, and associated psychosis-relevant behaviors. Here, we sought to characterize hippocampal GABAA and NMDA receptors in MAM-treated rats and to elucidate the receptor mechanisms underlying the promising effects of peripubertal diazepam exposure. Quantitative receptor autoradiography was used to measure receptor density in the dorsal hippocampus CA1, ventral hippocampus CA1, and ventral subiculum. Specifically, [3H]-Ro15-4513 was used to quantify the density of α5GABAA receptors (α5GABAAR), [3H]-flumazenil to quantify α1-3;5GABAAR, and [3H]-MK801 to quantify NMDA receptors. MAM rats exhibited anxiety and schizophrenia-relevant behaviors as measured by elevated plus maze and amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion (AIH), although diazepam only partially rescued these behaviors. α5GABAAR density was reduced in MAM-treated rats in all hippocampal sub-regions, and negatively correlated with AIH. Ventral hippocampus CA1 α5GABAAR density was positively correlated with anxiety-like behavior. Dorsal hippocampus CA1 NMDA receptor density was increased in MAM-treated rats, and positively correlated with AIH. [3H]-flumazenil revealed no significant effects. Finally, we found no significant effect of diazepam treatment on receptor densities, potentially related to the only partial rescue of schizophrenia-relevant phenotypes. Overall, our findings provide first evidence of α5GABAAR and NMDA receptor abnormalities in the MAM model, suggesting that more selective pharmacological agents may become a novel therapeutic mechanism in schizophrenia.
A Reactivity-Based 18F-Labeled Probe for PET Imaging of Oxidative Stress in Chemotherapy-Induced Cardiotoxicity
Oxidative stress underlies the pathology of many human diseases, including the doxorubicin-induced off-target cardiotoxicity in cancer chemotherapies. Since current diagnostic procedures are only capable of monitoring cardiac function, a noninvasive means of detecting biochemical changes in redox status prior to irreversible functional changes is highly desirable for both early diagnosis and prognosis. We designed a novel 18F-labeled molecular probe, 18F-FPBT, for the direct detection of superoxide in vivo using positron emission tomography (PET). 18F-FPBT was radiosynthesized in one step by nucleophilic radiofluorination. In vitro, 18F-FPBT showed rapid and selective oxidation by superoxide (around 60% in 5 min) compared to other physiological ROS. In healthy mice and rats, 18F-FBPT is distributed to all major organs in the first few minutes post injection and is rapidly cleared via both renal and hepatobiliary routes with minimal background retention in the heart. In a rat model of doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity, 18F-FBPT showed significantly higher (P < 0.05) uptake in the hearts of treated animals compared to healthy controls. These results warrant further optimization of 18F-FBPT for clinical translation.
Author Correction: Phase 1/2 trial of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 with a booster dose induces multifunctional antibody responses.
A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01372-z.
The global supply of COVID-19 vaccines remains limited. An understanding of the immune response that is predictive of protection could facilitate rapid licensure of new vaccines. Data from a randomized efficacy trial of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine in the United Kingdom was analyzed to determine the antibody levels associated with protection against SARS-CoV-2. Binding and neutralizing antibodies at 28 days after the second dose were measured in infected and noninfected vaccine recipients. Higher levels of all immune markers were correlated with a reduced risk of symptomatic infection. A vaccine efficacy of 80% against symptomatic infection with majority Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant of SARS-CoV-2 was achieved with 264 (95% CI: 108, 806) binding antibody units (BAU)/ml: and 506 (95% CI: 135, not computed (beyond data range) (NC)) BAU/ml for anti-spike and anti-RBD antibodies, and 26 (95% CI: NC, NC) international unit (IU)/ml and 247 (95% CI: 101, NC) normalized neutralization titers (NF50) for pseudovirus and live-virus neutralization, respectively. Immune markers were not correlated with asymptomatic infections at the 5% significance level. These data can be used to bridge to new populations using validated assays, and allow extrapolation of efficacy estimates to new COVID-19 vaccines.
Single-dose administration and the influence of the timing of the booster dose on immunogenicity and efficacy of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine: a pooled analysis of four randomised trials.
BACKGROUND: The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine has been approved for emergency use by the UK regulatory authority, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, with a regimen of two standard doses given with an interval of 4-12 weeks. The planned roll-out in the UK will involve vaccinating people in high-risk categories with their first dose immediately, and delivering the second dose 12 weeks later. Here, we provide both a further prespecified pooled analysis of trials of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and exploratory analyses of the impact on immunogenicity and efficacy of extending the interval between priming and booster doses. In addition, we show the immunogenicity and protection afforded by the first dose, before a booster dose has been offered. METHODS: We present data from three single-blind randomised controlled trials-one phase 1/2 study in the UK (COV001), one phase 2/3 study in the UK (COV002), and a phase 3 study in Brazil (COV003)-and one double-blind phase 1/2 study in South Africa (COV005). As previously described, individuals 18 years and older were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive two standard doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (5 × 1010 viral particles) or a control vaccine or saline placebo. In the UK trial, a subset of participants received a lower dose (2·2 × 1010 viral particles) of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 for the first dose. The primary outcome was virologically confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 disease, defined as a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT)-positive swab combined with at least one qualifying symptom (fever ≥37·8°C, cough, shortness of breath, or anosmia or ageusia) more than 14 days after the second dose. Secondary efficacy analyses included cases occuring at least 22 days after the first dose. Antibody responses measured by immunoassay and by pseudovirus neutralisation were exploratory outcomes. All cases of COVID-19 with a NAAT-positive swab were adjudicated for inclusion in the analysis by a masked independent endpoint review committee. The primary analysis included all participants who were SARS-CoV-2 N protein seronegative at baseline, had had at least 14 days of follow-up after the second dose, and had no evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection from NAAT swabs. Safety was assessed in all participants who received at least one dose. The four trials are registered at ISRCTN89951424 (COV003) and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606 (COV001), NCT04400838 (COV002), and NCT04444674 (COV005). FINDINGS: Between April 23 and Dec 6, 2020, 24 422 participants were recruited and vaccinated across the four studies, of whom 17 178 were included in the primary analysis (8597 receiving ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and 8581 receiving control vaccine). The data cutoff for these analyses was Dec 7, 2020. 332 NAAT-positive infections met the primary endpoint of symptomatic infection more than 14 days after the second dose. Overall vaccine efficacy more than 14 days after the second dose was 66·7% (95% CI 57·4-74·0), with 84 (1·0%) cases in the 8597 participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 248 (2·9%) in the 8581 participants in the control group. There were no hospital admissions for COVID-19 in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group after the initial 21-day exclusion period, and 15 in the control group. 108 (0·9%) of 12 282 participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 127 (1·1%) of 11 962 participants in the control group had serious adverse events. There were seven deaths considered unrelated to vaccination (two in the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 group and five in the control group), including one COVID-19-related death in one participant in the control group. Exploratory analyses showed that vaccine efficacy after a single standard dose of vaccine from day 22 to day 90 after vaccination was 76·0% (59·3-85·9). Our modelling analysis indicated that protection did not wane during this initial 3-month period. Similarly, antibody levels were maintained during this period with minimal waning by day 90 (geometric mean ratio [GMR] 0·66 [95% CI 0·59-0·74]). In the participants who received two standard doses, after the second dose, efficacy was higher in those with a longer prime-boost interval (vaccine efficacy 81·3% [95% CI 60·3-91·2] at ≥12 weeks) than in those with a short interval (vaccine efficacy 55·1% [33·0-69·9] at <6 weeks). These observations are supported by immunogenicity data that showed binding antibody responses more than two-fold higher after an interval of 12 or more weeks compared with an interval of less than 6 weeks in those who were aged 18-55 years (GMR 2·32 [2·01-2·68]). INTERPRETATION: The results of this primary analysis of two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 were consistent with those seen in the interim analysis of the trials and confirm that the vaccine is efficacious, with results varying by dose interval in exploratory analyses. A 3-month dose interval might have advantages over a programme with a short dose interval for roll-out of a pandemic vaccine to protect the largest number of individuals in the population as early as possible when supplies are scarce, while also improving protection after receiving a second dose. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes of Health Research (NIHR), The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lemann Foundation, Rede D'Or, the Brava and Telles Foundation, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland's NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca.
Immunogenicity, safety, and reactogenicity of heterologous COVID-19 primary vaccination incorporating mRNA, viral-vector, and protein-adjuvant vaccines in the UK (Com-COV2): a single-blind, randomised, phase 2, non-inferiority trial.
BACKGROUND: Given the importance of flexible use of different COVID-19 vaccines within the same schedule to facilitate rapid deployment, we studied mixed priming schedules incorporating an adenoviral-vectored vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 [ChAd], AstraZeneca), two mRNA vaccines (BNT162b2 [BNT], Pfizer-BioNTech, and mRNA-1273 [m1273], Moderna) and a nanoparticle vaccine containing SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and Matrix-M adjuvant (NVX-CoV2373 [NVX], Novavax). METHODS: Com-COV2 is a single-blind, randomised, non-inferiority trial in which adults aged 50 years and older, previously immunised with a single dose of ChAd or BNT in the community, were randomly assigned (in random blocks of three and six) within these cohorts in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive a second dose intramuscularly (8-12 weeks after the first dose) with the homologous vaccine, m1273, or NVX. The primary endpoint was the geometric mean ratio (GMR) of serum SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike IgG concentrations measured by ELISA in heterologous versus homologous schedules at 28 days after the second dose, with a non-inferiority criterion of the GMR above 0·63 for the one-sided 98·75% CI. The primary analysis was on the per-protocol population, who were seronegative at baseline. Safety analyses were done for all participants who received a dose of study vaccine. The trial is registered with ISRCTN, number 27841311. FINDINGS: Between April 19 and May 14, 2021, 1072 participants were enrolled at a median of 9·4 weeks after receipt of a single dose of ChAd (n=540, 47% female) or BNT (n=532, 40% female). In ChAd-primed participants, geometric mean concentration (GMC) 28 days after a boost of SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike IgG in recipients of ChAd/m1273 (20 114 ELISA laboratory units [ELU]/mL [95% CI 18 160 to 22 279]) and ChAd/NVX (5597 ELU/mL [4756 to 6586]) was non-inferior to that of ChAd/ChAd recipients (1971 ELU/mL [1718 to 2262]) with a GMR of 10·2 (one-sided 98·75% CI 8·4 to ∞) for ChAd/m1273 and 2·8 (2·2 to ∞) for ChAd/NVX, compared with ChAd/ChAd. In BNT-primed participants, non-inferiority was shown for BNT/m1273 (GMC 22 978 ELU/mL [95% CI 20 597 to 25 636]) but not for BNT/NVX (8874 ELU/mL [7391 to 10 654]), compared with BNT/BNT (16 929 ELU/mL [15 025 to 19 075]) with a GMR of 1·3 (one-sided 98·75% CI 1·1 to ∞) for BNT/m1273 and 0·5 (0·4 to ∞) for BNT/NVX, compared with BNT/BNT; however, NVX still induced an 18-fold rise in GMC 28 days after vaccination. There were 15 serious adverse events, none considered related to immunisation. INTERPRETATION: Heterologous second dosing with m1273, but not NVX, increased transient systemic reactogenicity compared with homologous schedules. Multiple vaccines are appropriate to complete primary immunisation following priming with BNT or ChAd, facilitating rapid vaccine deployment globally and supporting recognition of such schedules for vaccine certification. FUNDING: UK Vaccine Task Force, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and National Institute for Health Research. NVX vaccine was supplied for use in the trial by Novavax.
Phase 1/2 trial of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 with a booster dose induces multifunctional antibody responses
More than 190 vaccines are currently in development to prevent infection by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Animal studies suggest that while neutralizing antibodies against the viral spike protein may correlate with protection, additional antibody functions may also be important in preventing infection. Previously, we reported early immunogenicity and safety outcomes of a viral vector coronavirus vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222), in a single-blinded phase 1/2 randomized controlled trial of healthy adults aged 18-55 years ( NCT04324606 ). Now we describe safety and exploratory humoral and cellular immunogenicity of the vaccine, from subgroups of volunteers in that trial, who were subsequently allocated to receive a homologous full-dose (SD/SD D56; n = 20) or half-dose (SD/LD D56; n = 32) ChAdOx1 booster vaccine 56 d following prime vaccination. Previously reported immunogenicity data from the open-label 28-d interval prime-boost group (SD/SD D28; n = 10) are also presented to facilitate comparison. Additionally, we describe volunteers boosted with the comparator vaccine (MenACWY; n = 10). In this interim report, we demonstrate that a booster dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is safe and better tolerated than priming doses. Using a systems serology approach we also demonstrate that anti-spike neutralizing antibody titers, as well as Fc-mediated functional antibody responses, including antibody-dependent neutrophil/monocyte phagocytosis, complement activation and natural killer cell activation, are substantially enhanced by a booster dose of vaccine. A booster dose of vaccine induced stronger antibody responses than a dose-sparing half-dose boost, although the magnitude of T cell responses did not increase with either boost dose. These data support the two-dose vaccine regime that is now being evaluated in phase 3 clinical trials.