Can we find a cure for Covid-19 in horses?


Brazilian researchers have developed a neutralizing serum for SARS-CoV2 based on purified antibodies from horses.

While the search for drugs against Covid-19 continues, Brazilian scientists have gone to explore a common trail: horses.

Here, the scientists extracted fragments of purified antibodies to develop a neutralizing serum against the virus, which could prove to be very effective, including against the variants, as explained. the study published on the iScience website.

Brazilian scientists drew on research that had already been done on horses to fight other types of coronavirus. From “hyperimmune” sera (also called antitoxynes, immunoglobulins) had been manufactured and had shown interesting results.

The immune system of horses stimulated by the Spike protein

Horses were first immunized by being injected spike protein. Their immune system would have been stimulated by the latter, allowing them to produce more antibodies, hyperimmune globulins, notes the study. Taken and reworked, they would have made it possible to concoct this serum with the final aim of neutralizing the activity of the virus. Tested on hamsters, the product would have made it possible for the animals to get better and to see a decrease in the amount of virus in the lungs.

The advantage of this technique is that it is accessible all over the world, the researchers note and that it has a relatively low cost. Human trials are expected to follow this discovery.

Source : Polyclonal F(ab’)2 fragments of equine antibodies raised against the spike protein neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants with high potency, iScience, 23 octobre 2021.

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