ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) protects hamsters against SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 and B.1.1.7 disease.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Robert J FischerVincent J Munster


We investigated ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 in Syrian hamsters. We previously showed protection against SARS-CoV-2 disease and pneumonia in hamsters vaccinated with a single dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Here, we observed a 9.5-fold reduction of virus neutralizing antibody titer in vaccinated hamster sera against B.1.351 compared to B.1.1.7. Vaccinated hamsters challenged with B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 did not lose weight compared to control animals. In contrast to control animals, the lungs of vaccinated animals did not show any gross lesions. Minimal to no viral subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) and no infectious virus was detected in lungs of vaccinated animals. Histopathological evaluation showed extensive pulmonary pathology caused by B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 replication in the control animals, but none in the vaccinated animals. These data demonstrate the effectiveness of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against clinical disease caused by B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 VOCs.

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