Scientists discover antibody that can neutralize all known COVID-19 variants


Vaccines have tremendously helped the world in its fight against COVID-19. However, the newer variants seem to create the need for different boosters to fight them. But now, scientists have discovered an antibody, called SP1-77, that neutralizes all known COVID-19 variants, Prevention website reported.

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Duke University together discovered it during a mouse study and the findings were published in the journal Science Immunology. 

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“SP1-77 binds the spike protein at a site that so far has not been mutated in any variant, and it neutralizes these variants by a novel mechanism,” study co-author Tomas Kirchhausen, PhD, said in a statement. “These properties may contribute to its broad and potent activity.”

The antibody was created after researchers modified a mouse model that was originally made to search for broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV, which also mutates, a report says. Mice have built-in human immune systems that mimic the way our immune systems develop better antibodies when we’re exposed to a pathogen. 

The antibody, however, works in a slightly different way than the other antibodies that are used to make vaccines. However, the study was done on mice, and so it isn’t clear what impact it might have. Experts say that the study is still in the early stages, but if it looks promising, it could “form the basis of new monoclonal antibody products as well as a vaccine”.

(With inputs from agencies)