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SARS-CoV-2 Infection Protects against Rechallenge in Rhesus Macaques

Published time: 20 May 2020

Authors: Abishek Chandrashekar, Jinyan Liu, Amanda J. Martinot, Katherine McMahan, Noe B. Mercado, Lauren Peter, Lisa H. Tostanoski, Jingyou Yu, Zoltan Maliga, Michael Nekorchuk, Kathleen Busman-Sahay, Margaret Terry, Linda M. Wrijil, Sarah Ducat, David R. Martinez, Caroline Atyeo, Stephanie Fischinger, John S. Burke, Matthew D. Slein, Laurent Pessaint, Alex Van Ry, Jack Greenhouse, Tammy Taylor, Kelvin Blade, Anthony Cook, Brad Finneyfrock, Renita Brown, Elyse Teow, Jason Velasco, Roland Zahn, Frank Wegmann, Peter Abbink, Esther A. Bondzie, Gabriel Dagotto, Makda S. Gebre, Xuan He, Catherine Jacob-Dolan, Nicole Kordana, Zhenfeng Li, Michelle A. Lifton, Shant H. Mahrokhian, Lori F. Maxfield, Ramya Nityanandam, Joseph P. Nkolola, Aaron G. Schmidt, Andrew D. Miller, Ralph S. Baric, Galit Alter, Peter K. Sorger, Jacob D. Estes, Hanne Andersen, Mark G. Lewis, Dan H. Barouch


An understanding of protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is critical for vaccine and public health strategies aimed at ending the global COVID-19 pandemic. A key unanswered question is whether infection with SARS-CoV-2 results in protective immunity against re-exposure. We developed a rhesus macaque model of SARS-CoV-2 infection and observed that macaques had high viral loads in the upper and lower respiratory tract, humoral and cellular immune responses, and pathologic evidence of viral pneumonia. Following initial viral clearance, animals were rechallenged with SARS-CoV-2 and showed 5 log10 reductions in median viral loads in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal mucosa compared with primary infection. Anamnestic immune responses following rechallenge suggested that protection was mediated by immunologic control. These data show that SARS-CoV-2 infection-induced protective immunity against re-exposure in nonhuman primates.

SARS-CoV-2 infection protects against rechallenge in rhesus macaques



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