Tiny antibody from COVID-19 immunised llama shows promise treating human

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Representative Image
Representative Image

Washington [US], January 1 (ANI/Sputnik): US military scientists identified a miniature antibody - a nanobody - produced by a llama that appears to work well in liquid or aerosol form, suggesting it could help protect a person from the novel coronavirus, the Defense Department said in a press release on Thursday.

"The researchers found that at least one of these nanobodies, called NIH-CoVnb-112, may be highly effective at preventing infections or detecting virus particles by grabbing hold of SARS-CoV-2 [Covid-19] spike proteins," the release said.

The nanobody disables the coronavirus by covering the teeth of the spike on the virus' surface, disabling the pathogen's ability to infect the patient, according to researchers at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences cited in the release.

The llama was vaccinated five times in 28 days with a purified version of the spike protein to produce the nanobody, the release said.

Nanobodies are a type of antibody about a tenth the weight of most human antibodies that are produced naturally by the immune systems of camels, alpacas and llamas, the release added.

Nanobodies are also more stable, less expensive to produce and easier to engineer than typical human antibodies, according to the release. (ANI/Sputnik)