Camelid Llama may be superhero to neutralize COVID-19

Breaking News: Scientists report Llama named 'Winter' has antibodies for COVID-19

Diane Lilli

A 4-year old llama named Winter, a camelid,  has been studied by scientists in Belgium and now a report states this young llama has antibodies that neutralize COVID-19.

In the report "Structural Basis for Potent Neutralization of Betacoronaviruses by Single-Domain Camelid Antibodies" co-author Daniel Wrap explained that the antibodies in the camelid llamas are effective in the lab and that pre-clinical labs are underway, with a fast timeline to make it available, if successful in humans, in one year.

"This single-domain antibody is particularly interesting because it binds to a conserved patch on the spike protein, meaning that it is capable of neutralizing both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2,” Wrapp said.

Results of this ground-breaking study can be read in CELL.

Llamas have been studied by scientists for years, and llamas have offered  antibodies used in human applications to H.I.V., influenza and other diseases. These antibodies have also been studied for  illnesses including SARS,  MERS and others.

Now, with this report that the antibodies in Llamas can neutralize COVID-19,  especially with specific manipulations that will may a  prophylactic treatment for people against COVID-19.

This news is being treated as a major breakthrough, but scientists caution more work must be done before deeming it successful as a 1 - 2 month preventative treatment against COVID-19.

Updates to follow.


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