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Study: UK and South African variants resist antibodies

The study, led by Columbia University researchers and led by David Ho, revealed that the English and South African variants showed increased resistance to antibodies.

Coronavirus variants continue to worry. In addition to the discovery of the new variant from Thailand, now the concern is about the resistance of these.

Variants revealed "increased resistance to antibodies"

According to research, published in Columbia University's journal Nature, the English variant B.1.1.7 and the South African B.1.351 show "increased resistance to antibodies". Therefore, monoclonal antibody-based therapies may not be effective. The research is based on laboratory tests and was conducted by David Ho, an internationally renowned virologist.

The research was carried out by verifying the neutralization capacity of the variants in 30 monoclonal antibodies. But not only. Experts collected plasma from 20 patients recovered from the virus and sera from 22 people who had already been vaccinated.

According to what emerged, both the English and South African variants resist the neutralization of monoclonal antibodies. Furthermore, they would also be found to be resistant to some antibodies that target the very site where the Spike protein binds to the receptor on the cell surface.

Increased awareness of recombinant antibodies as potential substitutes may hinder the growth of the target market to a certain extent, and cost of investment associated may hinder the market.

For researchers, the transmission of the virus must be stopped and the vaccination campaign accelerated

However, the researchers reported that the variant is not resistant to plasma in the recovered and vaccinated subjects. Hence, this may not have an impact on the therapies and vaccines already on the market.

As for the South African variant, the situation is different. In fact, this was nine to 10/12 times more resistant to antibodies than cured and vaccinated.

According to reports, researchers believe that Covid-19 is shifting in a direction that could escape the effectiveness of therapies and vaccines already on the market. According to the authors of the research, therefore, "it would be necessary to review the therapies".

Researchers argue the need to block the transmission rate of the virus and its variants as quickly as possible. This through more stringent measures, but also through the implementation of the vaccination campaign.

It should be added that the Brazilian variant P1 is not considered in the research published in Nature. Researchers believe that, having similar mutations to the South African one, it may have a similar resistance factor.

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Last Updated: 11-Mar-2021