Scientists discover antibody that protects against COVID and all its variants

Researchers believe that the antibody can be a key to future vaccine research for virus outbreaks.

A group of scientists believes they have discovered an antibody that could protect people from all coronaviruses, including COVID-19 and its variants.

The antibody named DH1047 is thought to be effective at preventing infection and also helping with treatment of COVID-19.

COVID-19 & Co

The discovery was made by a research team at the University of North Carolina and Duke University, in Durham. The group says it believes it has found a key piece that can help combat the current pandemic and future virus outbreaks.

In a statement announcing the find, one of the researchers and director of Duke Human Vaccine Institute Dr. Barton Haynes said:

This antibody has the potential to be a therapeutic for the current epidemic. It could also be available for future outbreaks, if or when other coronaviruses jump from their natural animal hosts to humans.

The study, published in the Science Translational Medicine journal, identified more than 1,700 coronavirus antibodies. Out of that number, 50 were identified as being able to bind Covid and SARS. Haynes said:

This antibody binds to the coronavirus at a location that is conserved across numerous mutations and variations. As a result, it can neutralize a wide range of coronaviruses.

Wide-ranging Protection

The antibody has since been tested in mice, and found to be able to protect the rodents from developing a Covid infection after being exposed to the virus.

It was also found to be effective against all types of strains as well, including the highly contagious Delta variant. When the team tested the antibody on animals that were already infected, they found that it was effective at reducing the severity of symptoms related to the lungs.

Dr. Ralph Baric, a professor of epidemiology at UNC and co-senior author of the research, said:

The findings provide a template for the rational design of universal vaccine strategies that are variant-proof and provide broad protection from known and emerging coronaviruses.

Other types of coronaviruses that are believed to have the future potential of infecting humans were also tested, and were neutralized by the antibody.

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