Scientists discover antibodies that may neutralize a range of SARS-CoV-2 variants


RESEARCHERS have studied a dozen anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies isolated from people who had previously contracted the infection.

They looked for antibodies that would not lose their effectiveness to new variants and that would work against a variety of respiratory viruses.
They identified a potent antibody called S2E12. It was effective against a variety of respiratory viruses and may be a high barrier to viral escape.

Another of the antibodies studied, called S2H97, prevented SARS-CoV-2 infections in Syrian ham-sters when the animals received the antibodies pro-phylactically 2 days before exposure.

Researchers have recently discovered antibodies that can neutralize a range of SARS-CoV-2 variants and other coronaviruses.

They hope that their work, which appears in the journal NatureTrusted Source, may help with devel-oping treatments for the current COVID-19 crisis, as well as potential future pandemics.

Antibodies are the human body’s defense mecha-nism against unfamiliar substances such as bacteria and viruses in the blood.

Once generated, antibodies bind to the foreign substances, which are called antigensTrusted Source. The binding process trig-gers the body’s immune response and mobilizes other cells to fight the invading antigen.

Scientists can also make antibodies in a laboratory setting. Three monoclonal antibody-based therapi-esTrusted Source, which are designed to block the SARS-CoV-2 attachment to human cells, are cur-rently available through emergency use authoriza-tion by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These are:

According to Dr. William Schaffner, people who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 and who are at risk of progressing to severe disease — including those who are over the age of 65 years and those who have weakened immune systems — should talk with a doctor about receiving monoclonal antibody treatment.

Stay informed with live updates on the current Covid-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.

Dr. Schaffner — who is a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN — was not involved in the Nature study.

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