Antibodies from llamas - Lama glama - may help fight several coronaviruses that infect humans.
A team led by Bert Schepenes and Xavier Selens of the VIB Institute for Biological Sciences in Ghent, Belgium, and Jason McLellan of the University of Texas at Austin, have isolated two llama antibodies that bind to the spike proteins that coronaviruses use to enter cells:
- One antibody neutralized coronavirus responsible for Middle East respiratory syndrome MERS
- Second infected with SARS severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus
The fusion of the SARS antibody from the llama with the human antibody produced a hybrid that neutralized the virus responsible for COVID-19. Evidence suggests such antibodies may be useful in combating coronavirus epidemics.