Health

Experimental treatment of Covid-19 from camel antibodies


BrotherScientists at the Rosalind Franklin Institute discovered nanoantibodies – a small form of antibody in llamas (llamas) capable of binding and destroying nCoV.

Their molecular chains can be produced in large quantities in the laboratory, significantly reducing Covid-19 symptoms in animal testing. This is a method that is supposed to be cheaper and easier than plasma therapy (people who are infected with Covid-19 receive antibodies from people who have recovered from the disease).

“While the research is still in its early stages, it opens up significant potential for the use of nanoantibodies to treat Covid-19,” said Professor Miles Carroll, Associate Director of the National Infection Service, Public Health. UK (PHE), said. “It is one of the most effective nCoV neutralizers tested at PHE.”

According to him, the unique structure and strength of nanoantibodies have a significant role in both the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. He expressed his desire to cooperate and develop the work into clinical studies.

According to Professor Ray Owens, head of protein production at the Rosalind Franklin Institute and lead author of the study, the advantage of camel nanoantibodies compared to humans is that it is cheap to produce and can be delivered directly. into the upper respiratory tract through nasal spray, mist. Thus, if successful, this will be a simple drug to treat Covid-19 at home.

“It has the advantage of ease of use, helping to directly treat the viral infection site in the respiratory tract,” he said.

Llama llamas can produce nano-antibodies that neutralize nCoV. Photo: DPA

Scientists created nanoantibodies by injecting part of the S protein of nCoV into an individual llamas named Fifi. This is the protein outside the virus, which is responsible for attaching and infecting human cells. After the injection, Fifi’s immune system is activated, producing nano-antibodies to fight the virus.

With a small sample of blood from a llamas, the scientists were able to purify four nano-antibodies that bind to the virus. Antibodies combine together in a three-ring chain, increasing their ability to kill pathogens. They are then mass-produced in the laboratory. The study showed that three nanoantibody chains were able to neutralize the original virus strain and the Alpha variant. The third chain neutralizes the Beta variant.

The mice infected with nCoV after injection had a marked reduction in symptoms, the amount of virus in the lungs and airways was also 7 times lower than the placebo group. The researchers say this result is a premise for the development of a new drug to help treat Covid-19.

“Treatment drugs will still be important in the future, especially when not everyone in the world is eligible for vaccination. New variants are at risk of emerging, overcoming the immune barrier of vaccines,” the professor said. James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, said.

Thuc Linh (Follow SCMP)

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