Scientists ID Antibody That Protects Against Broad Range of COVID-19 Virus Variants; Targets Key Part of Virus Spike Protein That Changes Little Across Variants

The virus that causes COVID-19 today is not the same as the one that first sickened people way back in December 2019. Many of the variants circulating now are partially resistant to some of the antibody-based therapeutics that were developed based on the original virus. As the pandemic continues, more variants inevitably will arise, and the problem of resistance will only grow. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified an antibody that is highly protective at low doses against a wide range of viral variants. Moreover, the antibody attaches to a part of the virus that differs little across the variants, meaning that it is unlikely for resistance to arise at this spot. The findings, published online on August 18, 2021 in Immunity, could be a step toward developing new antibody-based therapies that are less likely to lose their potency as the virus mutates. The article is titled “A Potently Neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Inhibits Variants of Concern By Utilizing Unique Binding Residues in a Highly Conserved Epitope.”

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