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Newly discovered antibodies may be the key to fighting each strain of Covid.

Researchers detected six new antibodies in the blood of patients who had survived the early "Covid-19" predecessor, the 2002 SARS virus, and who had also received a coronavirus vaccination in recent years.

The most powerful, E7, has been found to neutralize newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, such as Omicron XBB.1.16, which has caused a more than 14% increase in new US cases over the past month, although cases are still historically low compared to previous years since the virus first gripped the world in 2020.

The international team of scientists, led by Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, found that E7 blocks the shape-shifting process that the virus requires to infect cells and cause disease.

Medical researchers from Singapore, Australia and the United States collaborated on the project, identifying six antibodies that effectively killed several "Covid-19" variants.

Both Covid and the original SARS-CoV-2, as well as the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron variants, were all weak against these new monoclonal antibodies, which are antibodies produced by a clone of a unique disease-fighting white blood cell.

Previous attempts to develop a treatment that uses huge quantities of monoclonal antibodies to protect “Covid” patients showed that these treatments eventually lost their effectiveness against rapidly evolving “Covid-19” variants.

However, the six new monoclonal antibodies were discovered within the immune systems of patients who had already survived the original SARS before receiving a recent Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine against COVID-19.

The result was a more potent combination of natural and vaccine-targeted immunity that is able to consistently attack aspects common to all sarbecoviruses, not just those of Covid.

"This work provides encouraging evidence that mass-coronavirus vaccines are possible, if they can properly educate the human immune system," said study senior author Wang Linfa.

E7 has been shown to be effective in the laboratory against the latest developments of the Corona virus, such as Omicron XBB.1.16.

The researchers hope to expand their research on E7 and these other monoclonal antibodies in an effort to develop them as therapeutic therapies against both the current crop and future strains of the coronavirus.

Their research was in collaboration with the National University of Singapore, the University of Melbourne in Australia, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.

Source: Daily Mail - Publish date: 02.08.2023


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