Nanobodies, produced by llamas, shows promise against Covid-19: Scientists

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September 23

Antibody produced by llamas, a domesticated South American camelid, will be helpful to treat Covid-19 patients and also, that can be taken by patients as a nasal spray, instead of an injection.

Nanobodies, simple form of antibody, generated by llamas and camels can effectively target the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19, Scientists at the Rosalind Franklin Institute in the UK said.

Scientists could come to know that,  short chains of the molecules, which can be produced in large quantities in the laboratory, significantly reduced signs of the Covid-19 disease when administered to infected animals.

The results have been published in the journal Nature Communication.

The research has “significant potential for both the prevention and treatment of Covid-19”, said Public Health England.

Prof Naismith, who is one of the lead researchers and director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute in Oxfordshire, explained that coronavirus-infected rodents treated with the new nanobody nasal spray fully recovered within six days, reported BBC.

The treatment has, so far, been tested only in those lab animals, but Public Health England said it was among the “most effective SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing agents” it had ever tested.

“Nanobodies have a number of advantages over human antibodies. They are cheaper to produce and can be delivered directly to the airways through a nebuliser or nasal spray, so can be self-administered at home rather than needing an injection. This could have benefits in terms of ease of use by patients but it also gets the treatment directly to the site of infection in the respiratory tract,” said lead author Professor Ray Owens, head of protein production at the Institute.

 

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