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Llama Antibodies May Lead To Coronavirus Treatment

Llamas hold great promise in the fight against the coronavirus and this has been getting more and more attention lately, especially in mainstream media.  Llamas have something most animals don't.
"This strange property of producing these small simple antibodies," said John Aitchison of Seattle Children's Research Institute. It does not make llamas sick, but does allow them to naturally produce antibodies called nanobodies, which are collected in blood samples. The next step is to isolate specific nanobodies in the lab, find ones that work to combat COVID-19 and produce them in bacteria. The idea, eventually, is to make a treatment for coronavirus patients that may be administered deep in the lungs to keep COVID-19 from spreading. "I don't think there's a biologist in the world that's not thinking about this right now," Aitchison said.

Researchers in Belgium and Texas have a head start. A llama named Winter was already producing antibodies for other coronaviruses, and scientists have now created an antibody that, according to initial tests, blocks COVID-19. The Seattle Children’s Research Institute is moving ahead, too. According to the article below, the same nanobodies could be used sooner to develop a simple COVID-19 test where you spit on a stick and get results as quickly as a home pregnancy test.


More on this at NBC News (video) -
NBC News - Llamas serve surprising role in coronavirus antibody treatment

Go here for - Seattle researchers hope llama antibodies lead to coronavirus treatment

NY Times - Hoping Llamas Will Become Coronavirus Heroes


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