ISLAMABAD, Oct 07 (APP): German researchers have identified highly effective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) and are now pursuing the development of a passive vaccination.
The study, published in the journal Cell, also discovered that some SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bind to tissue samples from various organs, which could potentially trigger undesired side effects.
Initially, the scientists from Germany’s Charite hospital and German Neurodegenerative Diseases Centre (DZNE) isolated almost 600 different antibodies from the blood of individuals who had overcome Covid-19, Medical Daily reported .
By means of laboratory tests, they were able to narrow this number down to a few antibodies that were particularly effective at binding to the virus. Next, they produced these antibodies artificially using cell cultures.
The identified so-called neutralizing antibodies bind to the virus, as crystallographic analysis reveals, and thus prevent the pathogen from entering cells and reproducing.
In addition, virus recognition by antibodies helps immune cells to eliminate the pathogen.
Studies on hamsters – which, like humans, are susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2 – confirmed the high efficacy of the selected antibodies:
“If the antibodies were given after infection, the hamsters developed mild disease symptoms at most. If the antibodies were applied preventively – before infection – the animals did not get sick,” said study author Jakob Kreye from DZNE.
Treating infectious diseases with antibodies has a long history.
For Covid-19, this approach is also being investigated through the administration of plasma-derived from the blood of recovered patients.
With the plasma, antibodies of donors are transferred.