Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 severe clinical disease in hamsters

Lisa H. Tostanoski, Frank Wegmann, Amanda J. Martinot, Carolin Loos, Katherine McMahan, Noe B. Mercado, Jingyou Yu, Chi N. Chan, Stephen Bondoc, Carly E. Starke, Michael Nekorchuk, Kathleen Busman-Sahay, Cesar Piedra-Mora, Linda M. Wrijil, Sarah Ducat, Jerome Custers, Caroline Atyeo, Stephanie Fischinger, John S. Burke, Jared FeldmanBlake M. Hauser, Timothy M. Caradonna, Esther A. Bondzie, Gabriel Dagotto, Makda S. Gebre, Catherine Jacob-Dolan, Zijin Lin, Shant H. Mahrokhian, Felix Nampanya, Ramya Nityanandam, Laurent Pessaint, Maciel Porto, Vaneesha Ali, Dalia Benetiene, Komlan Tevi, Hanne Andersen, Mark G. Lewis, Aaron G. Schmidt, Douglas A. Lauffenburger, Galit Alter, Jacob D. Estes, Hanneke Schuitemaker, Roland Zahn, Dan H. Barouch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

216 Scopus citations


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans is often a clinically mild illness, but some individuals develop severe pneumonia, respiratory failure and death1–4. Studies of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in hamsters5–7 and nonhuman primates8–10 have generally reported mild clinical disease, and preclinical SARS-CoV-2 vaccine studies have demonstrated reduction of viral replication in the upper and lower respiratory tracts in nonhuman primates11–13. Here we show that high-dose intranasal SARS-CoV-2 infection in hamsters results in severe clinical disease, including high levels of virus replication in tissues, extensive pneumonia, weight loss and mortality in a subset of animals. A single immunization with an adenovirus serotype 26 vector-based vaccine expressing a stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein elicited binding and neutralizing antibody responses and protected against SARS-CoV-2-induced weight loss, pneumonia and mortality. These data demonstrate vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 clinical disease. This model should prove useful for preclinical studies of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, therapeutics and pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1694-1700
Number of pages7
JournalNature medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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