Bonded antibodies can kill potentially deadly viruses. This discovery will help in the prevention and treatment of emerging viruses.
Bunyaviridae (Bunyaviridae) are mainly carried by insects – for example, mosquitoes, they have a devastating effect on the health of animals and humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) has included them in a dangerous list of pathogens that can cause epidemics in the absence or insufficiency of countermeasures.
“Antiviral and antibody therapy are considered the most effective means of fighting emerging infections”, explains co-author of the study, Paul Wichgers Schreur, a senior fellow at Wageningen Bioveterinary Research. – Specific antibodies, also known as VHH, have shown great potential to neutralize the respiratory tract virus of infants. We investigated whether the same antibodies can be effective against bunyaviruses”.
VHH is a type of antibody that can bind fragments of other chain antibodies. They were discovered 25 years ago and have since been used in clinical therapy and immunodiagnostics, and more recently, for environmental monitoring.
When researchers tested whether VHH could neutralize different viruses in vitro, they found that they could not cope with it alone. The combination of two VHHs had a greater neutralizing effect against Schmallenberg virus (SBV) but was ineffective for Rift Valley Fever (RVFV). To solve this problem, they used “super glue” to hold VHH together and use it as a single complex of antibodies. It effectively neutralizes both viruses.