File this in coronavirus news of the weird. Researchers in Texas have found llamas – which produce two types of antibodies, one similar to humans, and one a quarter of the size researchers call single-domain antibodies.
The researchers linked two together to form a new antibody that binds tightly to a key protein on the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This protein, called the spike protein, allows the virus to break into host cells. Initial tests indicate that the antibody blocks viruses that display this spike protein from infecting cells in culture.
Additionally, single-domain antibodies can be used in nebulizer treatments, offering a potential path to directly treat the lungs of those worst affected.