Scientists have found a man whose blood blocks the coronavirus
Blood samples from a patient who was diagnosed with SARS in 2003 contained an antibody blocking the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, says UNIAN.
This person can help scientists in finding methods to combat the new coronavirus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors say.
Antibodies are part of the body's immune system that responds to pathogens. This specific antibody, which researchers call S309, has demonstrated strong ability to bind and shut down the adhesion protein on SARS-CoV-2, which allows the virus to enter cells, according to researchers at the University of Washington Medical School who participated in the study.
Since the study of cells was conducted in the laboratory, much more research is required to show whether this antibody will effectively counteract SARS-CoV-2 in humans. The statement said Vir Biotechnology quickly developed an antibody for testing, hoping to begin clinical trials in humans.
The findings “pave the way” for using S309 (either alone or as part of an “antibody cocktail”) for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 (a disease caused by a new coronavirus).
For the treatment of COVID-19, many laboratories are now looking for so-called “neutralizing antibodies” that do not allow the pathogen to infect cells. But unlike most previous studies that looked for these antibodies in people with COVID-19, a new one tried to find them in a person who had SARS infection back in 2003.
“This is what enabled us to move so fast compared to other groups,” said study co-author David Wiesler, assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Among the 25 samples studied, the authors found several antibodies capable of binding to SARS-CoV-2, and one of them, in particular S309, was a “strong” neutralizing antibody.
When researchers combined S309 with other antibodies that had weaker activity against SARS-CoV-2, this “cocktail of antibodies” further enhanced the neutralization of SARS-CoV-2. According to them, such a cocktail can be used as a preventive treatment.
Interestingly, earlier a senior lecturer at the Department of Viral Immunology, University of Birmingham, Zania Stamataki, said the vaccine for the new virus is “within reach”.
According to her, most infected patients develop antibodies and there is evidence of a corresponding T-lymphocyte response.
“Although we don’t know whether this reaction is protective, it may indicate immunological memory - this is the cornerstone of vaccination. Vaccines will improve and enrich in order to provoke an immune response stronger than a natural infection, ”she said.
In addition, coronaviruses mutate more slowly than other viruses, such as influenza. The experience of SARS and MERS has shown that antibodies can persist for 1–2 years after recovery. A new study shows that some antibodies have been active for about 17 years.
As UNIAN previously reported, people infected with coronavirus who have not yet begun to show symptoms can spread the infection through a number of surfaces in hotel rooms. In particular, transmission of the virus can occur through pillowcases, sheets and blankets.
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