Nanobodies to fight coronavirusDate: 15 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
An international research team has identified and further developed novel antibody fragments against SARS-CoV-2.
These “nanobodies” are much smaller than classic antibodies and therefore, penetrate the tissue better and can be produced more easily in larger quantities.
Nanobodies are antibody fragments that are so simple that they can be produced by bacteria or yeast, which is less expensive.
The researchers have also combined the nanobodies into potentially particularly effective molecules, which attack different parts of the virus simultaneously.
The new approach could prevent the pathogen from evading the active agent through mutations.
Researchers first inject a surface protein of the coronavirus into an alpaca and a llama. Their immune system then produces mainly antibodies directed against this virus.
In addition to complex normal antibodies, llamas and alpacas also produce a simpler antibody variant that can serve as the basis for nanobodies.
A few weeks later, the researchers take a blood sample from the animals, from which they extracted the genetic information of produced antibodies.
Role of anti-bodies
Antibodies are an important weapon in the immune system’s defence against infections. They bind to the surface structures of bacteria or viruses and prevent their replication.
One strategy in the fight against disease is therefore to produce effective antibodies in large quantities and inject them into patients. However, producing antibodies is difficult and time-consuming.