Scientists have isolated an antibody in a patient who suffered a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003, which could block the work of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. A study by biologists from the University of Washington is published on the Nature website.
A major outbreak of SARS was recorded in 2003, but the disease was not as widespread as COVID-19. Its causative agent, SARS-CoV, is similar in structure and properties to the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
During the study, scientists were able to obtain several types of monoclonal antibodies against SARS – SARS-CoV virus from B-lymphocytes of a recovering patient. It turned out that they can also bind to the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
In total, scientists managed to isolate eight different antibodies that blocked the coronavirus to varying degrees. However, one of the – S309 – was able to strongly contact the S-protein, which is responsible for human infection. At the same time, it associated with both the free virus and the one that was in the infected cell.
Scientists believe that S309 can be used to develop a vaccine against coronavirus infection, as well as for new treatment methods for COVID-19. Now biologists plan to conduct studies of this antibody in animals, after which, in the case of successful testing, to begin clinical trials.