Protection from COVID-19 by Lamas?
Llamas might help in a special way in the fight against the new Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. The antibodies of the animals, according to a recent study, may be the key to the development of an antibody therapy against SARS-CoV-2.
In the current investigation at the University of Texas at Austin, it was found that with the help of the antibodies of llamas SARS-CoV-2 combat could be. Also an application in the case of already existing disease on the COVID-19 seems to be possible. The results of the study were published in the English journal “Cell”.
Research group creates new antibodies
In the study, the researchers combined two copies of a special type of antibodies produced by llamas, in order to create a new antibody. This ties closely to a key protein (Spike Protein) from the Coronavirus, which allows the Virus into host cells to invade. First Tests indicate that the anti-body virus, which this Spike have Protein, does not prevent to infect cell cultures.
Preclinical studies of other animals are in preparation
This is one of the first antibody, which is known is that he neutralizes SARS-CoV-2, report the researchers. The Team is now preparing to preclinical studies on animals, such as Hamsters or non-human primates to perform. Then can be carried out in the near future, hopefully, Tests on humans, reports the researchers. The goal is to develop a treatment to people soon after infection with the Virus helps.
Antibody therapy can protect against the disease and mitigate
Vaccines need to be administered one or two months before the infection in order to provide protection, in the case of antibody therapies, however, the protective antibodies may be administered, explains the research group. Therefore, to benefit the Person being treated immediately after the treatment of a protective effect. Also the antibodies could be used for the treatment of already ill persons, in order to reduce the Severity of the disease, report the researchers more.
Many people would benefit from immediate protection
This would be particularly helpful for vulnerable groups such as older people, for example, what is the response to vaccines is only moderate, which may mean that your protection may be incomplete. In health care, employed persons and other people who are exposed to an increased risk of virus exposure, could also benefit from immediate protection.
Llamas produce to protect against bacteria of different antibodies
If the immune system of Lamas discovered foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses, produce antibodies, these animals two types of anti. One of these species is similar to human antibodies. The other type of antibodies is particularly small.
Antibody interesting for drugs against respiratory pathogens
These small, so-called Single-Domain antibody, or a nano-body can, for example, in an inhaler used, explains the research group. The make these antibodies very interesting for a potential drug against respiratory pathogens, because you can bring them directly to the site of infection.
Lama was infected with a virus
The researchers used the Lama with the name Winter is four years old and lives together with about 130 other Lamas and alpacas on a farm in the Belgian countryside. The animal was at the time of the research work about nine months old. In the study, two former corona were investigated viruses: SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. Similar to how people had to be against a Virus vaccination, were injected into the Lama in the course of about six weeks, stabilized the Spike proteins of these viruses.
Antibody band to the Spike Protein
Next, took the research group a blood sample and isolated antibodies, which are bound to each Version of the Spike Protein. One of the antibodies appeared to be very promising and it has prevented viruses of the genus SARS-CoV-1 to infect cell cultures.
Results could nowadays be of great importance
At that time there was no great need for a treatment of corona virus. The research work was rather designed as a basic research, but now the results can have potentially much greater significance, report the researchers.
Summary of the research work:
The Team developed the new antibody that is promising for the treatment of the current SARS-CoV-2, by connecting two copies of the llama antibody that worked against the previous SARS Virus, with each other. It showed that the new antibody in the cell cultures as effective against SARS-CoV-2. Thanks to the year long work on related corona viruses, could the researchers complete their work within just a few weeks and publish. (as)