According to a study, the S309 antibody can neutralize the spike protein, which allows coronaviruses to infect human cells.
A team of researchers from European and North American institutes found that the S309 antibody can neutralize both the new coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2), which causes Covid-19, and Sars-CoV-1, responsible for Sars. The finding was published on Monday (18) in the journal Nature.
According to the researchers, the antibody was first identified in a blood sample from a patient who recovered from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) during the epidemic that hit China in 2003. Now, in more recent tests carried out on cell cultures, the researchers found that the particle also neutralizes Sars-CoV-2.
“Right now there are no approved tools or licensed therapeutics proven to fight against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” said David Veesler, one of the researchers, in a statement. The team believes that the antibody could help the immune system of infected people by neutralizing the new coronavirus.
The S309 antibody is potent in focusing and “deactivating” the spike protein, part of Sars-CoV-2 that allows the microorganism to enter human cells. According to the researchers, the particle studied was able to neutralize the action of this protein, preventing infection by the new coronavirus.
The researchers found that S309 is able to recognize specific characteristics common to several coronavirus types, including Sars-CoV-2. That is probably why this antibody can act against several diseases caused by these microorganisms.
The difference between S309 and the other antibodies being studied is that it was detected in someone who was infected 17 years ago by another type of coronavirus. “This is what allowed us to move so fast compared to other groups,” said Veesler.
These findings are important for studying possible mutations of these viruses, in addition to supporting research on treatments capable of preventing infections by these microorganisms.