Antibodies from llamas that can neutralise coronavirus: Scientists

Chennai: Researchers have demonstrated that two small, stable antibody variants derived from the South American mammal’s llamas can neutralise the novel coronavirus in lab-cultured cells.

Published in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, the study noted that the ‘nanobodies’ can prevent infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 by blocking its interaction with the protein ACE2, which it uses as a gateway to enter and infect cells.

According to the scientists, including those from The Rosalind Franklin Institute in the UK, passive immunisation, which involves giving a patient virus-neutralising agent–either from people previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 or purified antibodies–can be a useful therapy for Covid-19.

A couple of days ago, whhile stating that Russia’s Sechenov University had completed clinical trials of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, many media reports had claimed the same as the first vaccine in the world to complete human trials.

Russian news agency TASS said ‘clinical trials’ of a Covid-19 vaccine being tested by Sechenov University had been completed: The first stage of research on the vaccine started on 18 June when a group of 18 volunteers were vaccinated, and the second stage on 23 June with a group of 20 volunteers being vaccinated.

A report published in Sputnik News stated that clinical trials of the ‘world’s first coronavirus vaccine’ had been completed. The report said the vaccine was produced by the Gamalei Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and that its safety had been confirmed.


NT Bureau