Papers of the Month – 2020

December, 2020

Lancet. 2020 Nov 18;S0140-6736(20)32466-1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32466-1. PMID: 33220855

Ramasamy MN, Minassian AM, Ewer KJ, Flaxman AL, Folegatti PM, Owens DR, Voysey M, Aley PK, Angus B, Babbage G, Belij-Rammerstorfer S, Berry L, Bibi S, Bittaye M, Cathie K, Chappell H, Charlton S, Cicconi P, Clutterbuck EA, Colin-Jones R, Dold C, Emary KRW, Fedosyuk S, Fuskova M, Gbesemete D, Green C, Hallis B, Hou MM, Jenkin D, Joe CCD, Kelly EJ, Kerridge S, Lawrie AM, Lelliott A, Lwin MN, Makinson R, Marchevsky NG, Mujadidi Y, Munro APS, Pacurar M, Plested E, Rand J, Rawlinson T, Rhead S, Robinson H, Ritchie AJ, Ross-Russell AL, Saich S, Singh N, Smith CC, Snape MD, Song R, Tarrant R, Themistocleous Y, Thomas KM, Villafana TL, Warren SC, Watson MEE, Douglas AD, Hill AVS, Lambe T, Gilbert SC, Faust SN, Pollard AJ; Oxford COVID Vaccine Trial Group

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, 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 × 1010 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 × 1010 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 thesafety 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-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay. The coprimary outcomes of thetrial 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, 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.

November, 2020

J Virol. 2020 Oct 27;94(22):e00052-20. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00052-20. PMID: 32847855

Vigil A, Frias-Staheli N, Carabeo T, Wittekind M

Effective and reliable anti-influenza treatments are acutely needed and passive immunizations using broadly neutralizing anti-influenza monoclonal antibodies (bNAbs) are a promising emerging approach. Because influenza infections are initiated in and localized to the pulmonary tract, and newly formed viral particles egress from the apical side of the lung epithelium, we compared the effectiveness of hemagglutinin (HA) stalk-binding bNAbs administered through the airway (intranasal or via nebulization) versus the systemic route (intraperitoneal or intravenous). Airway deliveries of various bNAbs were 10- to 50-fold more effective than systemic deliveries of the same bNAbs in treating H1N1, H3N2, B/Victoria-, and B/Yamagata-lineage influenza viral infections in mouse models. The potency of airway-delivered anti-HA bNAbs was highly dependent on antiviral neutralization activity, with little dependence on the effector function of the antibody. In contrast, the effectiveness of systemically delivered anti-HA bNAbs was not dependent on antiviral neutralization, but critically dependent on antibody effector functions. Concurrent administration of a neutralizing/effector function-positive bNAb via the airway and systemic routes showed increased effectiveness. The small amount of airway-delivered bNAbs needed for effective influenza treatment creates the opportunity to combine potent bNAbs with different anti-influenza specificities to generate a cost-effective antiviral therapy that provides broad coverage against all circulating influenza strains infecting humans. A 3 mg/kg dose of the novel triple antibody combination CF-404 (i.e., 1 mg/kg of each component bNAb) delivered to the airway was shown to effectively prevent weight loss and death in mice challenged with ten 50% lethal dose (LD50) inoculums of either H1N1, H3N2, B/Victoria-lineage, or B/Yamagata-lineage influenza viruses.

IMPORTANCE: Influenza causes widespread illness in humans and can result in morbidity and death, especially in the very young and elderly populations. Because influenza vaccination can be poorly effective some years, and the immune systems of the most susceptible populations are often compromised, passive immunization treatments using broadly neutralizing antibodies is a promising therapeutic approach. However, large amounts of a single antibody are required for effectiveness when delivered through systemic administration (typically intravenous infusion), precluding the feasible dosing of antibody combinations via this route. The significance of our research is the demonstration that effective therapeutic treatments of multiple relevant influenza types (H1N1, H3N2, and B) can be achieved by airway administration of a single combination of relatively small amounts of three anti-influenza antibodies. This advance exploits the discovery that airway delivery is a more potent way of administering anti-influenza antibodies compared to systemic delivery, making this a feasible and cost-effective therapeutic approach.

October, 2020

N Engl J Med. 2020 Oct 1;383(14):1340-1348. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1917338. PMID: 32997908

Lei J, Ploner A, Elfström KM, Wang J, Roth A, Fang F, Sundström K, Dillner J, Sparén P

Background: The efficacy and effectiveness of the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in preventing high-grade cervical lesions have been shown. However, data to inform the relationship between quadrivalent HPV vaccination and the subsequent risk of invasive cervical cancer are lacking.

Methods: We used nationwide Swedish demographic and health registers to follow an open population of 1,672,983 girls and women who were 10 to 30 years of age from 2006 through 2017. We assessed the association between HPV vaccination and the risk of invasive cervical cancer, controlling for age at follow-up, calendar year, county of residence, and parental characteristics, including education, household income, mother’s country of birth, and maternal disease history.

Results: During the study period, we evaluated girls and women for cervical cancer until their 31st birthday. Cervical cancer was diagnosed in 19 women who had received the quadrivalent HPV vaccine and in 538 women who had not received the vaccine. The cumulative incidence of cervical cancer was 47 cases per 100,000 persons among women who had been vaccinated and 94 cases per 100,000 persons among those who had not been vaccinated. After adjustment for age at follow-up, the incidence rate ratio for the comparison of the vaccinated population with the unvaccinated population was 0.51 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.32 to 0.82). After additional adjustment for other covariates, the incidence rate ratio was 0.37 (95% CI, 0.21 to 0.57). After adjustment for all covariates, the incidence rate ratio was 0.12 (95% CI, 0.00 to 0.34) among women who had been vaccinated before the age of 17 years and 0.47 (95% CI, 0.27 to 0.75) among women who had been vaccinated at the age of 17 to 30 years.

Conclusions: Among Swedish girls and women 10 to 30 years old, quadrivalent HPV vaccination was associated with a substantially reduced risk of invasive cervical cancer at the population level. (Funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and others.)

September, 2020

Cell. 2020 Jul 23:S0092-8674(20)30932-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.07.024. PMID: 32795413; PMCID: PMC7377714

Zhang NN, Li XF, Deng YQ, Zhao H, Huang YJ, Yang G, Huang WJ, Gao P, Zhou C, Zhang RR, Guo Y, Sun SH, Fan H, Zu SL, Chen Q, He Q, Cao TS, Huang XY, Qiu HY, Nie JH, Jiang Y, Yan HY, Ye Q, Zhong X, Xue XL, Zha ZY, Zhou D, Yang X, Wang YC, Ying B, Qin CF

There is an urgent need for vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) because of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Among all approaches, a messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccine has emerged as a rapid and versatile platform to quickly respond to this challenge. Here, we developed a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA (mRNA-LNP) encoding the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 as a vaccine candidate (called ARCoV). Intramuscular immunization of ARCoV mRNA-LNP elicited robust neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 as well as a Th1-biased cellular response in mice and non-human primates. Two doses of ARCoV immunization in mice conferred complete protection against the challenge of a SARS-CoV-2 mouse-adapted strain. Additionally, ARCoV is manufactured as a liquid formulation and can be stored at room temperature for at least 1 week. ARCoV is currently being evaluated in phase 1 clinical trials.

August, 2020

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Jul 28;117(30):17957-17964. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1906613117. Epub 2020 Jul 13. PMID: 32661157

Ellebedy AH, Nachbagauer R, Jackson KJL, Dai YN, Han J, Alsoussi WB, Davis CW, Stadlbauer D, Rouphael N, Chromikova V, McCausland M, Chang CY, Cortese M, Bower M, Chennareddy C, Schmitz AJ, Zarnitsyna VI, Lai L, Rajabhathor A, Kazemian C, Antia R, Mulligan MJ, Ward AB, Fremont DH, Boyd SD, Pulendran B, Krammer F, Ahmed R

There is a need for improved influenza vaccines. In this study we compared the antibody responses in humans after vaccination with an AS03-adjuvanted versus nonadjuvanted H5N1 avian influenza virus inactivated vaccine. Healthy young adults received two doses of either formulation 3 wk apart. We found that AS03 significantly enhanced H5 hemagglutinin (HA)-specific plasmablast and antibody responses compared to the nonadjuvanted vaccine. Plasmablast response after the first immunization was exclusively directed to the conserved HA stem region and came from memory B cells. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) derived from these plasmablasts had high levels of somatic hypermutation (SHM) and recognized the HA stem region of multiple influenza virus subtypes. Second immunization induced a plasmablast response to the highly variable HA head region. mAbs derived from these plasmablasts exhibited minimal SHM (naive B cell origin) and largely recognized the HA head region of the immunizing H5N1 strain. Interestingly, the antibody response to H5 HA stem region was much lower after the second immunization, and this suppression was most likely due to blocking of these epitopes by stem-specific antibodies induced by the first immunization. Taken together, these findings show that an adjuvanted influenza vaccine can substantially increase antibody responses in humans by effectively recruiting preexisting memory B cells as well as naive B cells into the response. In addition, we show that high levels of preexisting antibody can have a negative effect on boosting. These findings have implications toward the development of a universal influenza vaccine.

July, 2020

N Engl J Med. 2020 Jul 14:NEJMoa2022483. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2022483. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32663912; PMCID: PMC7377258

Jackson LA, Anderson EJ, Rouphael NG, Roberts PC, Makhene M, Coler RN, McCullough MP, Chappell JD, Denison MR, Stevens LJ, Pruijssers AJ, McDermott A, Flach B, Doria-Rose NA, Corbett KS, Morabito KM, O’Dell S, Schmidt SD, Swanson PA 2nd, Padilla M, Mascola JR, Neuzil KM, Bennett H, Sun W, Peters E, Makowski M, Albert J, Cross K, Buchanan W, Pikaart-Tautges R, Ledgerwood JE, Graham BS, Beigel JH; mRNA-1273 Study Group

Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in late 2019 and spread globally, prompting an international effort to accelerate development of a vaccine. The candidate vaccine mRNA-1273 encodes the stabilized prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

Methods: We conducted a phase 1, dose-escalation, open-label trial including 45 healthy adults, 18 to 55 years of age, who received two vaccinations, 28 days apart, with mRNA-1273 in a dose of 25 μg, 100 μg, or 250 μg. There were 15 participants in each dose group.

Results: After the first vaccination, antibody responses were higher with higher dose (day 29 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay anti-S-2P antibody geometric mean titer [GMT], 40,227 in the 25-μg group, 109,209 in the 100-μg group, and 213,526 in the 250-μg group). After the second vaccination, the titers increased (day 57 GMT, 299,751, 782,719, and 1,192,154, respectively). After the second vaccination, serum-neutralizing activity was detected by two methods in all participants evaluated, with values generally similar to those in the upper half of the distribution of a panel of control convalescent serum specimens. Solicited adverse events that occurred in more than half the participants included fatigue, chills, headache, myalgia, and pain at the injection site. Systemic adverse events were more common after the second vaccination, particularly with the highest dose, and three participants (21%) in the 250-μg dose group reported one or more severe adverse events.

Conclusions: The mRNA-1273 vaccine induced anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune responses in all participants, and no trial-limiting safety concerns were identified. These findings support further development of this vaccine. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; mRNA-1273 number, NCT04283461).

June, 2020

Lancet. 2020 May 22:S0140-6736(20)31208-3. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31208-3. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32450106

Zhu FC, Li YH, Guan XH, Hou LH, Wang WJ, Li JX, Wu SP, Wang BS, Wang Z, Wang L, Jia SY, Jiang HD, Wang L, Jiang T, Hu Y, Gou JB, Xu SB, Xu JJ, Wang XW, Wang W, Chen W

Background: A vaccine to protect against COVID-19 is urgently needed. We aimed to assess the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a recombinant adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) vectored COVID-19 vaccine expressing the spike glycoprotein of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strain.

Methods: We did a dose-escalation, single-centre, open-label, non-randomised, phase 1 trial of an Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine in Wuhan, China. Healthy adults aged between 18 and 60 years were sequentially enrolled and allocated to one of three dose groups (5 × 1010, 1 × 1011, and 1·5 × 1011 viral particles) to receive an intramuscular injection of vaccine. The primary outcome was adverse events in the 7 days post-vaccination. Safety was assessed over 28 days post-vaccination. Specific antibodies were measured with ELISA, and the neutralising antibody responses induced by vaccination were detected with SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralisation and pseudovirus neutralisation tests. T-cell responses were assessed by enzyme-linked immunospot and flow-cytometry assays. This study is registered with, NCT04313127.

Findings: Between March 16 and March 27, 2020, we screened 195 individuals for eligibility. Of them, 108 participants (51% male, 49% female; mean age 36·3 years) were recruited and received the low dose (n=36), middle dose (n=36), or high dose (n=36) of the vaccine. All enrolled participants were included in the analysis. At least one adverse reaction within the first 7 days after the vaccination was reported in 30 (83%) participants in the low dose group, 30 (83%) participants in the middle dose group, and 27 (75%) participants in the high dose group. The most common injection site adverse reaction was pain, which was reported in 58 (54%) vaccine recipients, and the most commonly reported systematic adverse reactions were fever (50 [46%]), fatigue (47 [44%]), headache (42 [39%]), and muscle pain (18 [17%]. Most adverse reactions that were reported in all dose groups were mild or moderate in severity. No serious adverse event was noted within 28 days post-vaccination. ELISA antibodies and neutralising antibodies increased significantly at day 14, and peaked 28 days post-vaccination. Specific T-cell response peaked at day 14 post-vaccination.

Interpretation: The Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine is tolerable and immunogenic at 28 days post-vaccination. Humoral responses against SARS-CoV-2 peaked at day 28 post-vaccination in healthy adults, and rapid specific T-cell responses were noted from day 14 post-vaccination. Our findings suggest that the Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine warrants further investigation.

Funding: National Key R&D Program of China, National Science and Technology Major Project, and CanSino Biologics.

May, 2020

Nature. 2020 May 7. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2312-y. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32380511

Bao L, Deng W, Huang B, Gao H, Liu J, Ren L, Wei Q, Yu P, Xu Y, Qi F, Qu Y, Li F, Lv Q, Wang W, Xue J, Gong S, Liu M, Wang G, Wang S, Song Z, Zhao L, Liu P, Zhao L, Ye F, Wang H, Zhou W, Zhu N, Zhen W, Yu H, Zhang X, Guo L, Chen L, Wang C, Wang Y, Wang X, Xiao Y, Sun Q, Liu H, Zhu F, Ma C, Yan L, Yang M, Han J, Xu W, Tan W, Peng X, Jin Q, Wu G, Qin C

Severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused the corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in China and has become a public health emergency of international concern1. Because angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the cell entry receptor of SARS-CoV5, we used transgenic mice bearing human ACE2 and infected with SARS-CoV-2 to study the pathogenicity of the virus. Weight loss and virus replication in lung were observed in hACE2 mice infected with SARS-CoV-2. The typical histopathology was interstitial pneumonia with infiltration of significant macrophages and lymphocytes into the alveolar interstitium, and accumulation of macrophages in alveolar cavities. Viral antigens were observed in the bronchial epithelial cells, macrophages and alveolar epithelia. The phenomenon was not found in wild-type mice with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Notably, we have confirmed the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 in hACE2 mice. The mouse model with SARS-CoV-2 infection will be valuable for evaluating antiviral therapeutics and vaccines as well as understanding the pathogenesis of COVID-19.

April, 2020

N Engl J Med. 2020 Mar 30. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp2005630. PMID: 32227757

Lurie N, Saville M, Hatchett R, Halton J

The world is resting its hopes on the massive effort vaccine developers are making to produce a safe and effective vaccine to beat the virus. This paper lays out the major issues and lists the many vaccines in development.

March, 2020

Science. 2020 Feb 19:eabb2507. doi: 10.1126/science.abb2507. PMID: 32075877

Wrapp D, Wang N, Corbett KS, Goldsmith JA, Hsieh CL, Abiona O, Graham BS, McLellan JS Team

The outbreak of a novel betacoronavirus (2019-nCoV) represents a pandemic threat that has been declared a public health emergency of international concern. The CoV spike (S) glycoprotein is a key target for vaccines, therapeutic antibodies, and diagnostics. To facilitate medical countermeasure (MCM) development, we determined a 3.5 Å-resolution cryo-EM structure of the 2019-nCoV S trimer in the prefusion conformation. The predominant state of the trimer has one of the three receptor-binding domains (RBDs) rotated up in a receptor-accessible conformation. We also show biophysical and structural evidence that the 2019-nCoV S binds ACE2 with higher affinity than SARS-CoV S. Additionally, we tested several published SARS-CoV RBD-specific monoclonal antibodies and found that they do not have appreciable binding to 2019-nCoV S, suggesting antibody cross-reactivity may be limited between the two RBDs. The structure of 2019-nCoV S should enable rapid development and evaluation of MCMs to address the ongoing public health crisis.

February, 2020

N Engl J Med. 2020 Jan 24;10.1056/NEJMoa2001017. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2001017. PMID: 31978945

Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, Li X, Yang B, Song J, Zhao X, Huang B, Shi W, Lu R, Niu P, Zhan F, Ma X, Wang D, Xu W, Wu G, Gao GF, Tan W; China Novel Coronavirus Investigating and Research Team

In December 2019, a cluster of patients with pneumonia of unknown cause was linked to a seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, China. A previously unknown betacoronavirus was discovered through the use of unbiased sequencing in samples from patients with pneumonia. Human airway epithelial cells were used to isolate a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, which formed another clade within the subgenus sarbecovirus, Orthocoronavirinae subfamily. Different from both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, 2019-nCoV is the seventh member of the family of coronaviruses that infect humans. Enhanced surveillance and further investigation are ongoing. (Funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China and the National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease in China.)

January, 2020

N Engl J Med. 2019 Dec 5;381(23):2209-2218. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1905047. PMID: 31800986; PMCID: PMC6785806.

Shakya M, Colin-Jones R, Theiss-Nyland K, Voysey M, Pant D, Smith N, Liu X, Tonks S, Mazur O, Farooq YG, Clarke J, Hill J, Adhikari A, Dongol S, Karkey A, Bajracharya B, Kelly S, Gurung M, Baker S, Neuzil KM, Shrestha S, Basnyat B, Pollard AJ; TyVAC Nepal Study Team

Salmonella Typhi is a major cause of fever in children in low- and middle-income countries. A typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) that was recently prequalified by the World Health Organization was shown to be efficacious in a human challenge model, but data from efficacy trials in areas where typhoid is endemic are lacking.

In this phase 3, randomized, controlled trial in Lalitpur, Nepal, in which both the participants and observers were unaware of the trial-group assignments, we randomly assigned children who were between 9 months and 16 years of age, in a 1:1 ratio, to receive either a TCV or a capsular group A meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenA) as a control. The primary outcome was typhoid fever confirmed by blood culture. We present the prespecified analysis of the primary and main secondary outcomes (including an immunogenicity subgroup); the 2-year trial follow-up is ongoing.

A total of 10,005 participants received the TCV and 10,014 received the MenA vaccine. Blood culture-confirmed typhoid fever occurred in 7 participants who received TCV (79 cases per 100,000 person-years) and in 38 who received MenA vaccine (428 cases per 100,000 person-years) (vaccine efficacy, 81.6%; 95% confidence interval, 58.8 to 91.8; P<0.001). A total of 132 serious adverse events (61 in the TCV group and 71 in the MenA vaccine group) occurred in the first 6 months, and 1 event (pyrexia) was identified as being vaccine-related; the participant remained unaware of the trial-group assignment. Similar rates of adverse events were noted in the two trial groups; fever developed in 5.0% of participants in the TCV group and 5.4% in the MenA vaccine group in the first week after vaccination. In the immunogenicity subgroup, seroconversion (a Vi IgG level that at least quadrupled 28 days after vaccination) was 99% in the TCV group (677 of 683 participants) and 2% in the MenA vaccine group (8 of 380 participants).

A single dose of TCV was immunogenic and effective in reducing S. Typhi bacteremia in children 9 months to 16 years of age. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN43385161).

The International Society for Vaccines is an organization that engages, supports, and sustains the professional goals of a diverse membership in all areas relevant to vaccines and immunotherapeutics.  The ISV is a global not-for-profit organization that aims to encourage, establish, and promote the development and use of vaccines to prevent and control infectious and non-infectious diseases in animals and humans.  /  ISV Annual Congress