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Authors:Sun et al. 

Journal/ Pre-Print:bioXriv 

Key Words:Immunology, Vaccine 

Research Highlights

  1. Pre-clinical evaluation of egg-based inactivated Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vector vaccines expressing either the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in its wild type or a pre-fusion membrane anchored format are shown to elicit potent protection against COVID-19 vaccine in mice and hamsters 

  1. These vaccine candidates are shown to protect mice from a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 challenge with no detectable viral titre and viral antigen in the lungs 11 days following a homologous prime-boost with a 3 weeks interval  


In this preprint, the authors report the construction and characterization of NDV vectors expressing the SARS-CoV-2 S protein, either in its wild type (WT S) or in a pre-fusion membrane anchored format (S-F). High titres of binding and neutralizing antibodies were induced with either of three live NDV vectors. All three vectors are shown to fully protect mice from challenge with a SARS-CoV-2 mouse-adapted strain, showing no detectable viral titres and viral antigen in the lungs at day four post-challenge.  

Impact for SARS-CoV2/COVID19 research efforts  

Development of a vaccine for SARS-CoV2/COVID19 

Study Type 

  • In vivo study (e.g. mouse, NHP) 

Strengths and limitations of the paper 

Novelty: First pre-clinical results of novel NDV vectored vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 

Standing in the field: NDV vectored vaccines benefit from lack of prior anti-vector immunity in humans; also they can be quickly amplified in embryonated chicken eggs, which allows for high yields and low cost per dose  

Appropriate statistics: No statistical analysis 

Viral model used:Mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2  

Translatability:Besides its advantages regarding production NDV has also a very good safety record in humans and has been used in many oncolytic virus trials  

Main limitations:  

  • Proof of principle mouse study, reporting the successful construction of and effective protection by novel NDV vector-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates, but without any statistical analysis or comparison to other vaccine candidates already tested in clinical trials