COVID-19 Antibodies from Llamas have been Engineered to Block the Corona Virus

Corona Virus uses a large envelop Proteins called as Spike to activate host cell receptors and catalyze membrane fusion, Due to this crucial role this proteins plays they represent a vulnarable target for the development of therapeutics. Singles domained VHH-72 are isolated from Llamas and immunization done withprefusion stabalized Conona Virus SPikes. VHHS neutralise SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. Crystal structures of VHHS bound to the target viruses. 

Corona Viruses are enveloped positive , RNA Viruses, that are divided into four gerera that cause infection in a wide variety of organisms. There are alteast seven corona viruses that causes diseases, four of them are responsible for the causing respiratory diseases in the world. 

Llamas Produce such antibodies that blocks SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from infecting cells. this could be helping treatment against the Pendamic COVID-19. Llamas produce special type of antibodis  when exposed to virus and bacteria. The size of Llama's antibody is very small as comapre to the size of human antibodis. A they contain single domain, These Llama's  antibodies are called as Nanobodies. 

Researchers Isolated to antibodies from Llama and Engineered a new type of antibody, that binds to the spike Protein of Corona Virus that causes COVID-19, This prevents the virus from entering into human cells, thus blocks the entry of virus into human cells. This finding is based on the result of previous research in 2016. when the researchers  tested SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV, these two are related Corona Viruses. for SARA and MERS out breaks these viuses are responsible.

To find treatment researchers injected Llamas with spike protein from SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-COV, this induced an immune response in Llamas. After six weeks researchers collected blood from Llamas and Isolated antibodies. they found One single domain antybody (Nanobody) named VHH-72, bound tightly on the spike of SARS-CoV-1. VHH-72 singke domained antibody prevented the virus from entering and infecting the cells

After the COVID-19 outbreak, the researchers tested VHH-72 against SARS-CoV-2. at initial trials it binds weekly to the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. for the efficient results, scientists joined together two copies of antibodies. The newly engineered antibody neutrilizes both SARS-CoV 1 and SARS-CoV-2. In Rodents and non human primates preclinical trials occurs. if the results are succuessful then the treatment could be fruitful for the people exposed to virus, specially to the older people those are exposed to much higher risk of COVID-19. its also beneficail for the front line workers to protect them working with COVID-19

The antibodies produced by Llamas are very small so they can be Nebolized and delivered directly to Lungs via inhaler, its an antibody treatment, as the antibodies are present already in the body.

It would not be a vaccine treatment. In vaccine treatment, As the vaccines are given a month before infection, so our body learns how to fight against a virus If infection occurs. 

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Biotechnologist and Genetic Engineer