The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for effective prophylactic vaccination to prevent the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Intranasal vaccination is an attractive strategy to prevent COVID-19 as the nasal mucosa represents the first-line barrier to SARS-CoV-2 entry. The current intramuscular vaccines elicit systemic immunity but not necessarily high-level mucosal immunity. Here, we tested a single intranasal dose of our candidate adenovirus type 5-vectored vaccine encoding the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (AdCOVID) in inbred, outbred, and transgenic mice. A single intranasal vaccination with AdCOVID elicited a strong and focused immune response against RBD through the induction of mucosal IgA in the respiratory tract, serum neutralizing antibodies, and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells with a Th1-like cytokine expression profile. A single AdCOVID dose resulted in immunity that was sustained for over six months. Moreover, a single intranasal dose completely protected K18-hACE2 mice from lethal SARS-CoV-2 challenge, preventing weight loss and mortality. These data show that AdCOVID promotes concomitant systemic and mucosal immunity and represents a promising vaccine candidate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Drug Discovery
- Infectious Diseases
- Pharmacology (medical)