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Antibodies against omicron: Researchers track down agents

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Von: Jennifer Koellen

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US researchers have discovered an antibody that neutralizes all corona variants. Will there soon be a drug against omicron and all other subvariants?

Birmingham – protection against all corona variants such as omicron by an antibody? Is that even possible? There are now numerous variants of the corona virus. Alpha, Delta, Omikron – and of these there are subvariants (such as Omikron BA.5). The virus evolves, changes. This makes it so difficult for scientists to develop a universal drug against all corona variants that occur. Even existing vaccines do not help against every variant equally.

That’s why the following message is so special: Scientists from the USA have now found antibodies that are able to neutralize all corona variants, as reported by kreiszeitung.de.

Antibodies against omicron and Co.: Researchers discover protection against all corona variants

A team of scientists led by James Kobie from the University of Alabama in Birmingham now seems to have found such antibodies. And in the blood of patients who had recovered from Corona. That reports aerzteblatt.de.

A total of 17 antibodies were found. Of these, four were able to neutralize the corona virus “including the beta and omicron variants” in order to possibly combat corona infections with symptoms and course like those of Omicron BA.5 before the outbreak.

Protection against all corona subtypes: Antibody 1249A8 not only neutralizes omicron and delta

The best test results were apparently achieved with the antibody “1249A8”. He not only neutralized the corona wild type from Wuhan, where Covid-19 was first detected, but also its corona types beta, gamma, delta, epsilon and omicron.

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But why does this antibody work against so many corona variants? The reason: “1249A8” docks at a fixed point on the spike protein. Since all corona variants have this spot on the protein, the antibody can also connect anywhere – and thus fight the corona virus.

Protection against omicron and other corona variants: scientists find antibodies on spike proteins – a universal weapon against corona?

The corona virus, whether omicron or all other corona variants, needs the spike protein so that it can infect a cell. Here’s how: The protein binds to a receptor on the surface of human cells. The virus can thus fuse with the cell membrane and release its genetic material into the cell interior – we become ill. Therefore, the discovery of the antibody as protection against the coronavirus in the form of omicron and the other corona variants and subtypes could turn out to be a breakthrough in research.

New corona variants repeatedly show a large number of changes in the spike protein. The virus evolves through mutations to bypass the human immune response. The omicron variant already has over 30 different point mutations.

That is why we need a “universal weapon”, or better yet, a universal drug to combat every subtype and every variant of the coronavirus. Will we be able to develop this soon thanks to US scientists?

Omikron: When will the drug against all corona variants come out?

In the experiment by the scientists from Bermingham, the antibody “1249A8” protected mice from corona: the viruses had disappeared from the animals’ lungs within four days.

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For this purpose, “1249A8” can work well together with the antibody “1213H7”. The company Aridis from California examined both antibodies in an experiment with infected hamsters. The virus titers in the nose and lungs were significantly reduced. The results could be loud aerzteblatt.de lead to the development of new universal antibody preparations (drugs). The manufacturer Aridis has already included the two antibodies in the drug “AR-701”, which can be taken by inhalation. “The antibodies are modified in order to extend the effectiveness to a year or longer.”

Research leader James Kobie says: “The search for new drugs and vaccine strategies with universal activity against the coronavirus is crucial to protect humanity from current and future outbreaks or pandemics of the beta coronavirus.” So the discovery of the antibody could be the Be a breakthrough for an end to the corona pandemic and possibly prevent symptoms of Omikron BA.5 such as night sweats, nausea or rash.

Medicines against Corona: Lauterbach relies on nasal vaccine

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) recently gave German citizens hope and said when the end of the corona pandemic will be. He relies on nasal vaccines. Nasal vaccines produce some mucosal immunity in the nose. This could prevent an infection, because the virus first affects the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. Corona could no longer spread – that would be the end of the pandemic. Even if Lauterbach continues to be alarmed by the vaccine breakthroughs caused by Omicron BA.5.

Some nasal sprays are currently being developed as vaccines against corona. It is not possible to say when these will come onto the market. The reason: the proximity of the nasal mucosa to the brain could lead to dangerous neurological side effects. This means that the scientists have to test the nasal vaccines very carefully for possible risks to humans before they can be approved. Exactly when that will be cannot yet be foreseen. One thing is certain: the end of the pandemic is in sight.

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When do the first symptoms appear in a corona infection with Omikron BA.5? You have to know that for the incubation period of the virus variant. After the corona infection, you want to be among people again as soon as possible. But how long are infected people contagious at Omicron?

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