Scientists have discovered an antibody that can neutralize all known COVID-19 variants. SP1-77 binds the spike protein at a site that so far has not been mutated in any variant, and it neutralizes these variants by a novel mechanism.
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The world has benefited greatly from vaccines in the battle against COVID-19. The more recent variants, though, appear to necessitate the use of various boosters in order to combat them. But now, according to the Prevention website, researchers have found an antibody called SP1-77 that neutralizes all recognized COVID-19 variants, reports WION.
It was unearthed during a mouse study by researchers from Duke University and Boston Children’s Hospital, and the results were reported in the journal Science Immunology.
“SP1-77 binds the spike protein at a site that so far has not been mutated in any variant, and it neutralizes these variants by a novel mechanism,” study co-author Tomas Kirchhausen, PhD, said in a statement. “These properties may contribute to its broad and potent activity.”
According to a report, the antibody was developed after scientists modified a mouse model that was generated to look for widely neutralizing antibodies to HIV, which also mutates. Mice have human immune systems that function similarly to ours when we are exposed to pathogens, producing stronger antibodies.
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However, the antibody functions a little bit differently from the other antibodies that are utilized in the creation of vaccines. The study was conducted on mice, so it is unclear what effects it might have. The study is still in its early stages, according to experts, but if it shows promise, it “form the basis of new monoclonal antibody products as well as a vaccine.”