Researchers have discovered that two targeted antibodies work better together than alone, and significantly reduce the risk of catching or dying from a variety of viral diseases
Spotted: A team of researchers, led by scientists at The Netherlands’ Wageningen Bioveterinary Research and University, has experimented with using bacterial superglue to bind together two different antibodies. Each antibody element targets specific aspects of a pathogen, making the synthetic combination much more effective in preventing disease than a single antibody administered on its own.
Antibodies are proteins made by the body’s immune system specifically for the task of neutralising invasive, foreign pathogens. By isolating various sections of a variety of antibodies, the team found that in certain combinations, two antibodies working together were far more effective than one in targeting diseases. When tested, the combination antibodies prevented infection 80 per cent of the time and death 60 per cent of the time.
To ensure that the synthetic combination did not come apart, the team used new bacterial superglue technology. The superglue is made from artificially split proteins that create exceptionally strong bonds with other molecules. The high success rate of neutralising viruses makes the combined antibodies potentially very useful in treating other diseases, including cancer. Development of this work will focus on creating more and stronger viral disease treatments.
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