Animal nanobodies to fight human infections

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Animal nanobodies to fight human infections

Some diseases have viruses of such complex constitution that it is difficult to fight them. It is to circumvent this problem that biologists have found nanobodies of animal origin, able to fight viruses of the human species. The more than surprising results of experiments carried out in laboratories announce great hopes in the field of the fight against viruses.

A laboratory mouse.

The antibodies discovered were precisely found in the body of alpacas. Indeed, these immune defense agents are very different from those present in other animals. Observations have also shown that their size plays a significant role in their ability to bind to infectious agents in order to destroy them.

The results of the experiments appear in Cell Reports. In addition, Yi Shi, PhDassociate professor of pharmacological sciences, as well as experts from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, took part in the research.

Antigens of small dimensions, but of great efficiency

Antibodies made by the alpaca’s immune mechanism consist of of a single polypeptide link instead of two. Consequently, the defensive agents produced by the body of these animals are ten times smaller than standard antigens. Due to their small size and high neutralizing abilities, these antibodies are able to effectively combat mutations of various viruses.

Also, a surprising remark is that these antibodies are immutable and capable of attaching themselves firmly to the infectious agents of any infection. Aware of the peculiarities of these defense agents, the experts were able to easily attach numerous antigens to them like a daisy chain.

The dawn of a new era in the fight against viruses?

The small size of these nanobodies plays a key role against an infectious agent with accelerated evolution. Thanks to this feature, experts have developed a ultrapotent nanobody capable of co-binding to two regions of the RBD of SARS-class viruses to limit mutational escape. The particle produced (PiN-31) is immutable and, in its aerosol format, is used as aspirated or aerosol medication tools.

Our team believes that the reliable and resistant nanobodies discovered are perfectly capable of revolutionizing the fight against the current epidemic, as well as future viral infections. »

Yi Shi, PhD, director of the Center for Protein Engineering and Therapeutics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


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