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Current Affairs

Monoclonal anti-bodies and Covid-19

Date: 22 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Researchers have discovered REGEN-COV2, a form of monoclonal anti-body cocktail that has proved to be effective against Covid-19.

 

Background

Antibody cocktails have been undergoing research since some studies had shown potential to tackle the infection.

 

Details

  • Monoclonal antibodies are a type of synthetic antibodies that imitate actions of human immune system.

  • Antibodies are form of a protein that is produced by our body to tackle any antigens that may accidentally enter our system.

  • Monoclonal antibodies are obtained by extracting specific types of antibodies from human blood and later cloning them.

  • These monoclonal antibodies are designed in a specific manner that will enable them to target the whole antigen or a specific part of it.

  • In case of SARS CoV-2 virus, the monoclonal antibodies attack the spike proteins, which are responsible for attaching to the human cells.

  • These antibodies go and bind themselves to specific areas on the spike protein that will prevent it from infecting healthy cells.

  • This is not the first time that monoclonal antibodies are being used for the treatment of a disease. They were previously used for treating Ebola and HIV AIDS.

 

Importance in treating Covid-19

Some types of monoclonal antibodies have shown ability to neutralise variety of SARS Cov-2 virus, making it more effective from of treatment.

 

Advantage over natural antibodies

  • Natural antibodies are given through plasma therapy. The antibodies present in the plasma are generated by the recovered donor.

  • The antibody that has allowed the donor to recover may not be enough for patients with serious complications.

  • Monoclonal antibodies are homogenous and only contain those antibodies that may prove useful in generating antibody response in recipient.

 

Concerns

These antibodies have shown their effectiveness in patients having mild and moderate symptoms. They are not allowed to be used for severe and hospitalised patients.