Powerful isolates "super" antibodies may be the most effective against coronavirus. I study

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Super antibodies isolates that at the moment have been shown to be the most effective against coronavirus, among all those taken from Covid-19 patients.

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“Powerful neutralizing antibodies”, is what i call it super antibodies which at the moment have proved to be the most effective against the new coronavirus, among all those taken from Covid-19 patients. Identified at Columbia Univesity in New York, they could be produced on a large scale and give a push towards new therapies.

According to the study published in the journal Nature, newly isolated antibodies to date are among the most potent in neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

"We now have a more potent and diverse collection of antibodies than other antibodies that have been found so far and are ready to be turned into treatments," said David Ho, professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, who directed the job.

A systematic review

According to what we read in Nature, the discovery and development of monoclonal antibodies neutralizing the virus could be the best approach to treat or prevent infection with the new coronavirus.

That's why the researchers isolated 61 neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies from 5 infected hospitalized patients with severe illness. Among them, they identified 19 antibodies that powerfully neutralized SARS-CoV-2 and 9 of which showed extraordinary potency, with concentrations of 50% of the virus inhibitor.

Why are antibodies so important?

One of the main responses of the human body to an infection is that of just produce the antibodies, i.e. those proteins that bind to the invading pathogen to neutralize it and mark it for destruction by the cells of the immune system.

Right now, several drugs against Covid-19 are in clinical trials, but in the meantime, scientists tell Scitechdaily, these neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 antibodies produced by Covid-19 patients could be used to treat other patients or even prevent infection in people exposed to the virus.

This approach is similar to the use of convalescent serum from COVID-19 patients, but potentially more effective. Convalescent serum contains a variety of antibodies, but because each patient has a different immune response, the antibody-rich plasma used to treat one patient can be significantly different from the plasma administered to another, with varying concentrations and intensities of neutralizing antibodies.

Ho's team found that although many SARS-CoV-2 infected patients produce significant amounts of antibodies, and that the quality of those antibodies varies. In the patients they analyzed, those with severe illness produced the most strongly neutralizing antibodies.

"This allowed their immune systems to provide a firmer response," says Ho. Something similar to what we have learned from the HIV experience ”.

Most of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bind to the spiked glycoprotein, a feature that gives the virus its characteristic "corona" on the surface. Some of the more potent antibodies were directed to the receptor binding domain (where the virus attaches to human cells), but others were directed to the N-terminal region of the peak protein.

©David Ho/Columbia University Irving Medical Center

“These results show which sites on the viral peak are the most vulnerable,” says Ho. Using a cocktail of different antibodies that are directed to different sites in the spike will help prevent the virus from becoming resistant to treatment. "

The Columbia team found a more diverse variety of antibodies than in previous efforts, including unique new antibodies that have never been reported. For now, however, further studies will necessarily have to be awaited.

Sources: Nature / Scitechdaily

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