Researchers Discover a New Antibody Against COVID-19

Antibody Against COVID-19
Source: Freepik

Researchers have discovered a new antibody against COVID-19 that has the potential to grant immunity against its Delta variant.

This new antibody surfaced during a joint effort between researchers from Duke University and University of North Carolina. In their project, they attempted to study the relationship between the virus’s mutations within a host and the host’s immune response.

Our Body’s Immune Response

Our body produces antibodies in response to foreign agents such as a virus. These antibodies attach to specific binding sites on the virus to produce their effects. When a virus mutates, it also undergoes alterations in its binding sites which render the antibodies essentially ineffective. However, certain binding sites on the virus remain unchanged in spite of all these mutations. The antibodies that attach to these sites have the potential to offer protection against a wide range of mutated strains.

The researchers conducted their trials at Chapel Hill. They took two patients for their study; one infected with the original SARS COV-1 and the other with COVID-19. They separated more than 1700 antibodies from their blood. 50 of them showed tendencies to bind to both SARS COV-1 and SARS COV-2 (the COVID-19 virus). Moreover, they discovered that one of the antibodies had the potential to bind to multiple strains of coronaviruses not only in humans but also in animals.

“This antibody binds to the coronavirus at a location that is conserved across numerous mutations and variations. As a result, it can neutralize a wide range of coronaviruses.”

Barton Haynes, M.D., DHVI (Duke Human Vaccine Institute)

Trials for the Antibody

The researchers conducted their trials in mice to observe the effects of the antibody. The aim was to see if it prevented them from developing the infection.More so, if it limited the infection in mice already infected with coronavirus. Quite surprisingly, it showed promising results on both the fronts.

The antibody developed resistance in mice against COVID-19 and its variants including the Delta variant along with resistance against a multitude of animal strains of the virus. For already infected mice, it significantly halted the progression of the infection.

These results clearly show the effectiveness of the antibody. Moreover, they advocate the use this antibody as a good treatment option against both the current pandemic and any future catastrophe from SARS or a SARS related virus.

“The therapeutic activity even after mice were infected suggests that this could be a treatment deployed in the current pandemic, but also stockpiled to prevent the spread of a future outbreak or epidemic with a SARS-related virus.”

David Martinez, a senior researcher at University of North Carolina.


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