Researchers take blood samples from patients who have recovered from SARS at the turn of the century to try to explain the healing process and detect a specific antibody.
A strong antibody, capable of neutralizing the corona virus, was discovered in a blood sample by a patient who had had Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and recovered. This finding could open up hope for the treatment of the drug Covid-19, a disease caused by the new strain of corona virus (SARS-CoV-2).
The research was conducted by scientists at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, using Diamond Light Source, a powerful UK x-ray machine. The team studied blood samples from many patients who recovered from SARS, trying to figure out how their bodies overcame the virus.
SARS outbreak occurred from 2002-2004. The disease is caused by a strain of the corona virus family, similar to the virus that is causing the Covid-19 pandemic that is spreading in 160 countries and territories.
In a blood sample taken from a recovered SARS patient, the scientists found a strong antibody. These are molecules capable of attaching to foreign pathogens, helping the immune system to recognize and destroy. Subsequent experiments by the scientific team showed that this antibody was also associated with the new strain of corona virus better than the virus that caused SARS, according to the Telegraph.
“Antibodies were taken from a SARS patient in 2004. The two strains of the same family should be very closely related and both have receptors with the same structure on the cell membrane,” said Professor Gwyndaf Evans, deputy director director of life sciences at Diamond Light Source, said.
“The corona virus cell has a spherical shape with spikes covering the surface. It is named for this shape, making it look like a crown,” he said.
“The team isolated the viral protein spines, studied cases where SARS patients recovered from their illnesses to assess whether any antibodies were binding in the right place and could potentially be useful,” Evans said.
“We have found an antibody that appears to bind better to corona virus (compared to the virus that causes SARS). We hope this discovery will become a therapeutic therapy,” Evans said.
“Antibody therapies are not common. However, this means we do not have the same shortcomings as conventional drug preparation, because antibodies are inherently created in the human body and biocompatible.” , he insisted.
Diamond Light Source acts like a super large microscope. Scientists at Harwell are also using the technology to find protease inhibitors, a protein that is important for the corona virus’s life cycle.
Many drugs are being studied for this protein. Harwell scientists are conducting experiments on the ability of small molecules to bind to proteases, thereby preventing this protein from replicating further. To date, 55 molecules have been identified as candidates that can prevent viruses from being produced in humans.
“For every kind of disease, whether it’s a virus or a bacterium, if you want to develop a drug, you have to understand the atomic level in detail, what they look like and how it’s structured, because this factor is “When we understand how they work, we can start to study how to prevent that from happening.”