A monoclonal antibody capable of neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for Covid-19, in the laboratory has been identified by a team of Dutch researchers.
This neutralizing antibody against the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19 and also against that responsible for the SARS of 2003, could constitute a track for the “prevention and the treatment” of these diseases, according to the article of the researchers published this Monday by the scientific journal Nature.
The team associated with Utrecht University and the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam under the direction of Berend-Jan Bosch and Frank Grosveld, created 51 cell lines producing antibodies targeting a remarkable protein on the surface of the two coronaviruses.
This same protein is involved in the binding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to the ACE2 receptor on the surface of human cells and plays a key role in the infectious process of Covid-19.
A test was then developed to determine if the antibodies were able to neutralize the two coronaviruses. One of these antibodies showed “neutralizing activity” on both the Covid-19 virus and the SARS virus.
Scientists have determined that this antibody “targets” the area where viruses attach to ACE2 receptors but does not strictly interfere with the coupling mechanism of viruses with ACE2, indicating another mechanism of action that remains to be determined.
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-created copies of a certain type of antibody. They represent a form of immunotherapy.
By targeting the same “epitope” (remarkable molecule) as a protein on the surface of a virus, these substances can neutralize the ability of the virus to infect human cells.