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Covid-19: Antibodies to lead to next-gen vaccines effective against all Covid strains found

by Vaishali Sharma
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paving the way for next-generation Covid-19 vaccines that might protect against a variety of diseases Scientists discovered Covid-19 strains after discovering antibodies that are effective against a wide range of SARS-CoV-2 variations. Notably, the antibodies discovered in monkeys by a team at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, are also effective against other SARS viruses such as SARS-CoV-1, the very fatal virus that triggered an outbreak in 2003, according to a report by the news agency PTI.

Interestingly, the findings show that certain animals are better than humans at producing these types of “pan-SARS virus” antibodies, providing scientists with clues as to how to develop better vaccines. The findings, published on Thursday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, reveal the antibody structures that produce this more comprehensive immune response.

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According to the report, the researchers discovered that these neutralising antibodies recognise a viral region in the spike protein – which the virus uses to enter and infect the cells – that is relatively more conserved, which means that the region is present across many different SARS viruses and is thus less likely to mutate over time. The discovery, according to the researchers, might aid in the development of next-generation vaccines that provide further protection against developing SARS-CoV-2 variants and other SARS-related viruses.

“If we can design vaccines that elicit the similar broad responses that we have seen in this study, these treatments could enable broader protection against the virus and variants of concern,” said study senior author Raiees Andrabi, an investigator at The Scripps Research Institute. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was used to immunise rhesus macaque monkeys. According to the findings, two doses were provided, comparable to a similar method employed with already available vaccinations in people.

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