A research article has been published on 1st July in Sciencemag, and the findings are pretty positive. As previously established that just like any other virus, the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolves and mutates as it infects different hosts. Some of the most dangerous variants, named using the Greek alphabet, are the ones that have the highest transmissibility and the highest mortality rate. Scientists call this group of concerning variants (VOC), and the purpose of the study was to find antibodies that could protect COVID-19 infected patients against severe respiratory problems.
The SARS-CoV- 2 virus
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, an RNA virus, part of the human beta-coronavirus family, contains a spike protein made of two subcomponents: The S1 and S2. The first one is responsible for sticking to the host, and it then facilitates the virus to enter the body.
The available antibodies used to treat infected patients were created, taking into account the sequence of the spike protein from the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. This implies that newer mutations from all the variants we know so far have developed some sort of resistance against the antibodies administered to the patients. The available vaccines can have less efficiency to the new variants (VOC) of the virus.
Scientists identified anti-spike antibodies
To address the problem of the new variants, scientists identified and isolated anti-spike RBD antibodies from recovered patients. The four patients had suffered from a SARS_CoV-2 infection with the Washington-1 variant. The antibodies discovered can neutralize this spike protein. Several operations were performed, and from four antibodies, three were able to block the spike protein.
It is excellent news because through the experimental; study, the four antibodies efficiently neutralized 13 of the existing SARS-CoV-2 variants. After many more rounds of selection and identification, scientists could discover even more efficient treatments and even combine them for the benefit of the patients.