Study finds Antibody protects against wide range of COVID virus variants

A team of researchers in New York has identified an antibody that is highly protective at low doses against a wide range of viral Covid-19 variants. The findings, published in the journal Immunity, could be a step toward developing new antibody-based therapies that are less possibility to lose their potency as the virus mutates.

The antibody attaches to a part of the virus that differs little across the variants, meaning that it is unlikely for resistance to arise at this spot. "Current antibodies may work against some but not all variants," said researcher Michael S. Diamond from the Washington University in St. Louis in the US.

To find neutralizing antibodies that work against a wide range of variants, the researchers began by immunizing mice with a key part of the spike protein known as the receptor-binding domain. "The virus will likely continue to evolve over time and space. Having broadly neutralizing, effective antibodies that work individually and can be paired to make new combinations will likely prevent resistance," Diamond added.  The researchers screened the 43 antibodies by measuring how well they prevented the original variant of SARS-CoV-2 from infecting cells in a dish.

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