Camenlids at the forefront in the fight for Coronavirus
According to the study led by Dr. Wrapp, recently published on CellPress, antibodies from llamas block SARS and SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.
Camelids immune system is unique: all mamals produce immunoglobuline G (IgG) antibodies, but only Camelids have simpler and more campact small antibodies.
While IgGs count two different protein chains to recognize and remind a target, in order to precisely select and delete pathogenic threats, Camelids antibodies require just a single domain found on a single protein chain (VHH), and this is why scientist are focusing their interested on them.
VHH-based antibodies show pharmaceutically relevant properties comparable to IgGs, and therapeutic with several advantages over their bulkier, more complex, counterparts.
This study highlights the importance of animal research not only restricted to animal use, but also as a resource to fight human diseases.
Read here the publication Structural Basis for Potent Neutralization of Betacoronaviruses by Single-Domain Camelid Antibodies, Cell (2020), by Wrapp et al.