ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) protects Syrian hamsters against SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 and B.1.1.7.
Fischer RJ., van Doremalen N., Adney DR., Yinda CK., Port JR., Holbrook MG., Schulz JE., Williamson BN., Thomas T., Barbian K., Anzick SL., Ricklefs S., Smith BJ., Long D., Martens C., Saturday G., de Wit E., Gilbert SC., Lambe T., Munster VJ.
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 observe 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 do not lose weight compared to control animals. In contrast to control animals, the lungs of vaccinated animals do not show any gross lesions. Minimal to no viral subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) and no infectious virus can be detected in lungs of vaccinated animals. Histopathological evaluation shows 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.