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[ Pulse News Korea ] Korean researchers find neutralizing antibodies against COVID-19


Korean researchers have discovered antibodies that can neutralize COVID-19 and disable its activity in host cells, raising the possibility of developing a cure or a vaccine for the deadly virus in the future.

Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (CEVI) Fusion Research Group announced Wednesday that some known neutralizing antibodies from SARS and MERS bind to COVID-19’s spike protein used by the virus to invade host cells.

Neutralizing antibodies are those which combat and disable the infectivity of a virus in the immunization reaction.

The research team identified similarities between SARS and COVID-19 viruses after a genome analysis and predicted SARS neutralizing antibodies could bind to COVID-19 using bioinformatics.

Based on its analysis of the structural information file of COVID-19’s spike protein available in the bio-archive website bioRxiv, the team predicted that two SARS neutralizing antibodies and one MERS neutralizing antibody could bind to the spike protein.

The team also obtained COVID-19 RNA by culturing a virus isolated from a sample of infected patients in Korea, and found higher detection sensitivity in 2019-nCOV, N2, and N3 assays from the U.S. and NⅡD 2019-nCOV_N assays from Japan for the virus RNA. For detection of the RdRp/Orf1 gene, China’s ORFlab primer and probe set was found to be sensitive.

The findings were published in the Bio Archives on Feb. 27.

This is the first time that the sensitivity of major primer and probe sets for overseas COVID-19 detection has been compared and this will contribute to the development of a real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) detection kit with high sensitivity, said Dr. Lee Mi-hye, head of Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology.

By Pulse

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