Nanobodies that bind tightly to the SARS-CoV-2 virus can neutralize the virus in cell culture. This finding can provide an inexpensive and easy-to-use alternative to human antibodies taken from patients who have recovered from Covid-19.
Human antibodies administered by needle injection have been an important treatment for severe COVID-19 cases during a pandemic.
Nanobodies have several advantages over human antibodies. They are inexpensive to manufacture and can be delivered directly to the airways via a nebulizer or nasal spray, allowing them to be self-administered at home without the need for injections.
Researchers have been able to generate Nanobodies by injecting some of the SARS-CoV-2 peaplomer into a llama called Fifi.
Peplomers are located outside the virus and bind to human cells to allow them to infect.
The injection did not make Fifi sick, but they caused her immune system to fight off viral proteins by producing Nanobodies against it.
Next, taking a small blood sample from the llama, the researchers were able to purify four Nanobodies that could bind to the COVID-19 virus.
These Nanobodies were then combined into three chains to increase their ability to bind the virus. These were then produced in laboratory cells.
They found that three Nanobody chains could neutralize both the original and alpha mutants of the COVID-19 virus. The fourth nanobody chain was able to neutralize the beta variant first identified in South Africa.
When these Nanobody chains were administered to SARS-CoV-2 infected hamsters, animals experienced a significant reduction in disease, weight loss, and viral load in the lungs and respiratory tract 7 days after untreated animals. Shown.
This unique structure and strength of Nanobodies offers great potential for both prevention and treatment of COVID-19, and we look forward to working together to advance this study into clinical research.