Scientists have discovered an antibody which can be used to protect against COVID-19 variants as well other coronaviruses. 

Researchers at Duke University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill believe that they have discovered a crucial piece of the solution to the ongoing pandemic as well as future outbreaks of viruses.

The antibody, DH1047, works by binding to the virus’s cells and neutralizing them.

It can be used to prevent infection or help with treatment of someone who has contracted Covid.

Researchers have discovered an antibody that is not only just effective against Covid, but against all types of coronaviruses that could have future outbreaks among humans. Pictured: A microscope image of a COVID-19 cell

Scientists have found an antibody that not only protects against Covid but also against other coronaviruses which could cause future human outbreaks. Pictured: Microscope image of COVID-19 cells

The antibody, DH1047, showed the ability to 100% neutralize the virus cells of COVID-19, SARS and other coronaviruses that are found in animals

The 100%-neutralizing ability of DH1047 antibody to destroy virus cells from COVID-19, SARS, and other coronaviruses found in animals was demonstrated

For comparison, two other antibodies the researchers tested were found to be effective against some, but not all, types of the coronavirus that can infect both animals and humans. The antibody DH1235 (left) was found to be effective against some viruses, while DH1073 (right) was only effective against SARS (orange)

The researchers also tested two antibodies against the same coronavirus, which can infect humans and animals. The left-hand antibody DH1235 was effective against certain viruses while DH1073 was effective only against SARS (orange).

“This antibody could be a therapy for the current epidemic,” Dr Barton Haynes (director of Duke Human Vaccine Institute) said in a statement. 

“It might also be available to treat future epidemics, if and when coronaviruses are transferred from natural animals hosts to humans. 

Researchers, who published their findings on November 2 in the Science Translational Medicine journal, identified more than 1,700 coronavirus antibodies.

From that pool, 50 could be bound to SARS and Covid – which caused an epidemic in Asia during the 2000’s.

One was DH1047 which is particularly powerful and can bind all types of viruses both animal-based and human-based.

Haynes stated that the antibody “binds to coronavirus in a region that has been conserved over many mutations and variations.” 

“As such, it is capable of neutralizing a large range coronaviruses.” 

Tests on mice showed that the antibody could protect rodents against Covid-related infections.

It worked against virtually all strains, even the Delta-type which can be contagious.

The antibody also neutralized other coronaviruses suspected to be capable of infecting human beings.

“The results provide a model for rationally designing universal vaccine strategies that can be variant-proofed and offer broad protection against known and emerging coronaviruses,” said Ralph Baric (UNC professor of epidemiology and senior author).

The antibody was tested on infected animals and showed a reduction of the severity associated with the symptoms.

“The treatment activity of the virus even in mice infected with it suggests that the vaccine could have been used in this pandemic and also stored to avoid a new epidemic or outbreak of SARS-related viruses,” Dr David Martinez (co-lead author) said in a statement.

Monoclonal antibodies are currently considered the best treatment for Covid. 

Covid antibodies are used to inject the body with Covid proteins that aid in the defense against viruses and prevent them from reproducing.

Unvaccinated individuals who are not vaccinated may find this treatment especially useful. They don’t have the antibodies required to prevent infection and hospitalization.

The future development of treatments for coronavirus diseases may be made more efficient by incorporating this antibody.

Researchers believe their discoveries will help to combat the next pandemic.