As the fight against COVID-19 continues, a team of Belgian scientists has found that antibodies present in the blood of Llama are capable of neutralizing coronavirus. The novel coronavirus that originated from Wuhan is a silent intruder that settles in the body of the infected person in 14 days.
The deadly pandemic has already killed more than 165,000 people worldwide, and this death toll is expected to go up in the coming days until scientists succeed in developing an effective vaccination.
The new study was carried out by scientists at the Vlaams Institute for Biotechnology in Ghent. During the study, researchers found that molecules in camelids blood could be used to develop medications against coronavirus. It should be noted that these antibodies were proved effective against MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
As per the research report, the small size of Llama antibodies helps to target microscopic viruses more effectively and precisely. Known as nanobody technology, such antibodies were first used in the 1980s to treat AIDS.
It was a team of scientists at Brussels who initially uncovered these groundbreaking properties of Llama antibodies. The new research report suggests that nanobody technology can be used effectively to kill coronavirus that enters a human body, Sunday Times reports.
The vitality of Ferret and Hamster in coronavirus research
Another research conducted by a team of South Korean researchers has revealed that Ferrets and Hamsters used to respond in the same way as humans do when they get contracted with coronavirus. Experts believe that these animals could be used to test the efficacy of anti-coronavirus drugs, as they are responding very similar to humans.
Llama antibodies to detect cerebral lesions
This is not the first time that scientists are discovering the use of Llama antibodies in medical research. A few years back, researchers at Institut Pasteur, Inserm, the CNRS, the CEA, Pierre & Marie Curie and Paris Descartes Universities and Roche have suggested that Llama antibodies can be used to detect cerebral lesions in the brain. Experts who took part in this study also revealed that these antibodies could help to diagnose Alzheimer's disease effectively.