Scientists Discover Two Antibodies That Can Neutralise COVID-19

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Scientists has discovered two small, stable antibody variants derived from the South American mammals, llamas as they claim can neutralise the coronavirus in lab-cultured cells, an advance which may lead to the development of new therapeutics against COVID-19.

In the current study they tested the ability of antibodies derived from the South American mammals llamas in neutralising SARS-CoV-2 and noted that the ‘nanobodies’ can prevent infection with the by blocking its interaction with the protein ACE2, which it uses as a gateway to enter and infect cells.

According to the scientists, including those from The Rosalind Franklin Institute in the UK, passive immunisation, which involves giving a patient virus-neutralising agent, either from people previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 or purified antibodies can be a useful therapy for COVID-19.

They said antibodies against the 2002-03 SARS pandemic virus could prevent infection of cells by blocking the binding of the virus’ spike protein to ACE2.

However, they said many of these antibodies do not have the same reaction with SARS-CoV-2.

The researchers explained that human antibodies, like those of most mammals, have two chains which are heavy and light, but camelids, such as llamas, also possess an additional single heavy chain antibody variant, known as a nanobody.

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