Chinese scientists discover how Omicron variant evades antibody therapeutics

Chinese scientists discover how Omicron variant evades antibody therapeutics

Chinese scientists have announced successfully mapping out the high-definition spike protein structure of the Omicron variant of the virus that causes the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study, which was published recently in the journal, Cell Reports, a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes research papers across a broad range of disciplines within the life sciences, noted that the structure, under microscopy, revealed how Omicron escaped previous antibody therapeutics,

The high number of mutations in Omicron’s spike protein was considered responsible for the broad immune evasion from existing vaccines and antibody drugs.

The researchers from ShanghaiTech University, Nanjing University, and Chongqing Medical University had said they compared the structures of Omicron, Delta, and wild-type spikes bound to a patient-derived antibody fragment called 510A5, which also provided direct evidence of where antibody binding and neutralisation were weakened by the Omicron mutations.

The findings illustrated how the mutations led to antibody evasion, said the researchers.

Also, they analysed the structure of other antibodies previously reported as capable of neutralising Omicron, revealing their structures are more insusceptible to Omicron variants.

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The researcher, therefore, suggested that cocktail antibodies might be more effective clinically in fighting COVID-19.

(Xinhua/NAN)

 

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