German scientists have isolated 28 antibodies that neutralize the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

German scientists have isolated 28 antibodies that neutralize the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2
German scientists have isolated 28 antibodies that neutralize the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

The researchers were able to reconstruct 255 antibodies. The final check showed that the 28 most powerful of them are able to successfully neutralize the coronavirus and remain active for several weeks.


The formation of neutralizing antibodies - large globular plasma proteins that are produced by the plasma cells of our immune system - serve as an important line of defense in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The bottom line is that they allow you to prevent the penetration of the pathogen into healthy cells and have great potential for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 disease.

Many scientists are working on the search for antibodies and their study, some of the discoveries have already been reported earlier. Now, a team of researchers led by Professor Florian Klein (University Hospital of Cologne) and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) have discovered 28 powerful neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 that can be active for several weeks, and found out the mechanism of their formation … The results appeared the day before yesterday in the journal Cell, but research is ongoing. Clinical trials are expected to begin by the end of this year.

The purpose of the work, Klein notes, was to understand how the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 occurs, and to identify potent antibodies that could be used to prevent and treat coronavirus disease, which has already killed 550 thousand people worldwide.

A team of scientists from Marburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Tübingen and Israel were looking for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in 12 people who managed to defeat the coronavirus infection. They studied over four thousand SARS-CoV-2-specific B cells at the level of individual molecules and were able to partially decode the humoral immune response (occurs by the production of Ig immunoglobulins to a foreign antigen) to the coronavirus. As a result, the researchers reconstructed 255 antibodies, which were then tested in the laboratory of Professor Stefan Becker in Marburg for the ability to neutralize SARS-CoV-2. 28 of them reached the final.

“The peculiarity of the neutralizing antibodies we found is that many of them showed a small number of mutations. Therefore, they had to adapt a little in order to effectively recognize and neutralize the virus,”explains Dr. Matthias Zechner. By studying blood samples collected before the coronavirus pandemic began, scientists realized that B-lymphocytes (a functional type of lymphocytes that play an important role in providing humoral immunity) have the characteristics of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. According to the researchers, this suggests that these globular proteins can be rapidly formed by the immune system, for example, as a result of active immunization. And this, in turn, gives hope that the vaccine will help provide quick protection against infection.

In addition to preventing infection and directly treating patients with Covid-19, antibodies can be used for prevention after contact with an infected person. “This form of intervention is of particular interest in stopping localized outbreaks and preventing disease progression in people at risk,” Klein concluded.

Note that a recent study conducted on the material of the Chinese Wuhan showed that most often people who have undergone coronavirus disease do not show a noticeable level of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.

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