Antibodies from llamas could be used as a new COVID treatment.
Scientists have discovered that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which produces COVID-19, may be efficiently targeted by a particular form of antibody produced by llamas.
The breakthrough could lead to the creation of new frontline treatments for the disease that can be administered as a simple nasal spray, according to the authors of a study reporting the findings, which were published in the journal Nature Communications.
Short chains of molecules known as nanobodies were found to effectively neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus in infected hamsters, which were being used as a model for the human immune system, according to an international team of researchers led by scientists from the U.K. government-supported Rosalind Franklin Institute in England.
Nanobodies, a smaller, simpler form of antibody produced by llamas and camels’ immune systems, greatly reduced illness symptoms in infected hamsters.
By injecting the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which the virus uses to connect to human cells, into a llama named Fifi at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, the researchers were able to construct four different types of nanobody chains.
The pig did not become ill as a result of this, but Fifi’s immune system responded by producing nanobodies in order to combat the disease.
The scientists then extracted four nanobody chains from the llama’s blood, which they utilised in their research.
Three of the nanobodies were shown to be capable of neutralizing both the original SARS-CoV-2 virus variations and the Alpha version first detected in the United Kingdom, according to the study. The Beta version, which was first discovered in South Africa, was found to be neutralized by a fourth nanobody chain.
The current findings offer “significant potential for both the prevention and treatment of COVID-19,” according to Public Health England, a UK government agency that provided researchers for the study.
According to the CDC, nanobodies are “among the most powerful SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing agents we have ever tested.”
Nanobodies, according to the study’s authors, could be a less expensive and time-consuming alternative to treating people with human antibodies obtained from COVID-19 patients who have already recovered.
Human antibody therapy have proven to be effective throughout the pandemic, but they must be provided via infusion through a needle in a hospital setting, which limits their utilization.
While. This is a condensed version of the information.