UK researchers, in an announcement, stated that antibodies derived from llama have shown to neutralize in-vitro. Their team believes that these antibodies (also known as nanobodies due to their smaller size) could ultimately develop a treatment for patients severely suffering from COVID-19. This study is published in the journal “Nature Structural & Molecular Biology”. Llamas, Alpacas, and camels are said to naturally produce antibodies that have the potential to block the virus from entering human cells and stop the infection. They also discovered that the antibodies bound themselves to the spike protein in a different way compared to the other antibodies found to date.
Since there is no cure for COVID-19 yet, passive immunization has been used to cure patients who are severely ill. These nanobodies can be used in a similar way to a convalescent serum that effectively stops the progression of the virus in patients who are ill. A combination of one of the nanobodies with a human antibody showed that it was even more powerful than either alone. Combinations are particularly important since the virus has to upgrade multiple things at the same time to escape which is very difficult for the virus to do, stated Professor James Naismith, Director of The Rosalind Franklin Institute and Professor of Structural Biology at Oxford University.
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