An international team of researchers has found a new section of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus RNA that can be neutralized using specific antibodies. A research paper revealing a new way to fight the pandemic was published in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. Briefly about scientific work reported in a press release at Phys.org.
Scientists have been able to isolate the EY6A antibody from a patient recovering from COVID-19. Subsequent research showed that EY6A binds to a new target on the surface of SARS-CoV-2, which could be a new way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A stronger neutralizing effect can be achieved when using both the new antibody and antibodies directed against the ACE2 protein, which is involved in the binding of the virus to the infected cell.
Depending on the function, different antibody binding sites can be mutated to varying degrees. A random mutation that does not affect the activity of a protein can change its structure in such a way that antibodies can no longer bind to it, but the virus itself is still dangerous. If too many antibodies are used in the treatment of a patient, then there is a risk of developing virus resistance to them. However, the amino acid sequence of the new protein target is highly conserved, that is, it is weakly susceptible to mutations.
Antibodies obtained from people recovering from illness can be administered to patients with COVID-19, which can significantly reduce the severity of the disease and reduce long-term health effects.