Antibodies from a four-year-old llama living in a secret location in Belgium could help scientists find a treatment for COVID-19.
As the quest for the cure of the deadly coronavirus is on, there appears to be a breakthrough according to US and Belgian scientists who have identified a particle that can block the virus, according to a study published on Tuesday.
Llamas’ antibodies are known for their ability to neutralize viruses. So scientists have turned to Winter, a dark brown Llama, who lives in Belgium and was used to develop treatments for the SARS and MERS viruses back when she was nine months old. Winter, now 4 years old, was injected with spike proteins from the new coronavirus.
After six weeks, scientists took a blood sample from Winter and found that her antibodies appeared to neutralize COVID-19 — a first for any living creature.
According to a study which has been published in Journal Cells, the scientists then isolated antibodies in Winter’s blood, which are produced in response to an antigen and can help prevent future infection.
This was used to create a new antibody that the scientists say can block the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from infecting cells.