Medical Technology

Scientists Map Antibody Binding locations on Virus Spike

(Reuters) – A new COVID-19 “antibody map” is helping researchers find antibodies that will be capable of neutralizing the coronavirus, even after it mutates, according to a report published in Science.

Utilizing hundreds of antibodies from COVID-19 survivors all over the world, a global research team mapped out exactly where each antibody attaches to the spike protein of the virus.

Researchers searched for antibodies that target the spike which are so crucial to the life cycle of the virus that they would not work without them. These sites will likely be targets for treatments and vaccines even if the virus is mutated.

“If you’re making an antibody cocktail, it’d be wise to have at least one of these antibodies in there, as they’re likely to maintain their effectiveness against any variant,” Kathryn Hastie, co-author of the Lajolla Institute for Immunology, California, stated in a news release.

Her group, known as the Coronavirus Immunotherapeutic Collaboration, has developed the map and color-coded library of antibodies accessible in public databases so other scientists can gain access to the data.

SOURCE: Science, online September 23, 2021.

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