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Llama Antibodies Have ‘Considerable Promise’ As A COVID-19 Therapy

The use of antibodies from individuals who have recovered with COVID-19 has become more popular among scientists in the quest to find viable therapies for the virus.

Despite the fact that this method has had some success, these therapies are complex to produce and are thus costly.

Llama Antibodies Have ‘Considerable Promise’ As A COVID-19 Therapy

According to the authors, recent research published in the journal Nature Communication explores a kind of antibody produced from a llama. The authors anticipate that this method will be more straightforward and cost-effective.

Members of the camelid family, which includes camel, llama, and alpacas, generate antibodies that are one-of-a-kind. These antibodies are referred to as nanobodies. Nanobodies are molecules that are very tiny, resilient, and stable and which bind to particular targets.

Llama Antibodies Have 'Considerable Promise' As A COVID-19 Therapy

This specific connection makes nanobodies particularly well-suited for a wide range of scientific applications that include the detection and neutralization of viruses.

Recent research looked into the nanobodies of the llama called Fifi, and the findings were surprising. The scientists infused Fifi with a pure bioprotein which did not induce sickness but did stimulate her immunological system to create nanobodies, which were then destroyed by the scientists. Fifi’s blood was drawn, and a tiny sample of molecules was collected by the researchers.

The C5, H3, F2, and C1 nanobodies were isolated by the team and identified as such by the researchers. Experiments in the laboratory revealed that every one of those nanobodies binds to a different place on the spike proteins.

The researchers discovered that since the C5 nanobodies were arranged in trimmers made up of three C5’s in a row, they were able to completely block the spread of viral infection.

The C5 trimer was next tested on a group of 12 Syrian golden hamster options that had been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The C5 trimer nanobody was injected into six participants after one day, while the other six participants served as controls and did not receive any therapy.

During the course of the research, all the animals lost weight. By day 7, however, the six hamsters inside the nanobody-treated sample had lost substantially less weight than the control group.

According to their findings, the scientists add that individuals who got a single dosage of C5 nanobodies had “little losing weight and very low lung infection,” according to their findings.

The COVID-19 hamsters model was used for further research, which revealed that nasal delivery of nanobody therapy resulted in a quicker recovery from illness than injection administration.

The scientists speculate that this is due to the fact that the nanobodies were able to more easily reach the location of the infection in the lung in this case. Summary of the study and recommendations for the future

The director of the Rosalind Franklin Institution is Prof. James Naismith. Prof. Raymond Owens, a senior scientist there at Nuffield Department of Medicine and main investigator for Protein Production U.K., replied to a query regarding the next steps needed to get these results into human trials at a recent news conference.

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