Scientists at the Utrecht University have claimed that they have discovered an antibody that effectively blocks the spread of infection by SARS-COV-2, the Coronavirus which causes the COVID-19 disease.
Known as 47D11, the antibody targets the spike protein of the SARS-COV-2, which it uses to hook onto cells and insert its genetic material.
Laboratory tests in mice have revealed that 47D11 sticks to the spike protein and stops it from hooking onto other cells. Utrecht researchers discovered the antibody from 51 cell lines of mice that were engineered to carry human genes.
47D11 is known to target and block the spread of SARS-CoV-1, the Coronavirus which caused the SARS outbreak back in 2003. Scientists have stated that the antibody can attack SARS-COV-2 as well since it belongs to the same family of the Coronaviruses as the SARS-COV-1.
Professor Berend-Jan Bosch at Utrecht University said that the latest research builds on the work that Utrecht University has done in the past on antibodies attacking the SARS-COV-1.
Utrecht researchers have identified an antibody that neutralizes the infection of SARS-CoV-2 in cultured cells using the collection of SARS-COV-1 antibodies.
Berend-Jan Bosch believes that 47D11, if injected in the human body, could change the course of infection or protect an uninfected person against the virus.
Such a neutralizing antibody has the potential to alter the course of infection in the infected host, support virus clearance, or protect an uninfected individual that is exposed to the virus.
The ability of 47D11 to attack and stop both strains of the Coronavirus from growing can potentially mitigate the emergence of diseases caused by Coronaviruses in the future.