Coronavirus variants can evade antibodies by spreading via super-cells – new research


Sumary of Coronavirus variants can evade antibodies by spreading via super-cells – new research:

  • A virus typically spreads within our bodies by entering a cell and using it as a factory to create copies of itself, which then burst out and find new cells to infect..
  • Our antibodies work by binding to the virus and this can block it from attaching to and entering our cells in the first place..
  • The super-cells, known as syncytia, share multiple nuclei (the part of the cell that contains the genetic material) and abundant cytoplasm (the jelly-like substance that surrounds the nucleus)..
  • And by fusing cells, SARS-CoV-2 increases its resources without being exposed to the neutralising antibodies that slosh around outside our cells..
  • The study by Alex Sigal and colleagues tested two coronavirus variants (alpha and beta) for their ability to transmit from cell to cell and investigated whether this mode of transmission was sensitive to antibody neutralisation..
  • The Sigal study, which is yet to be published in a scientific journal, revealed that cell-to-cell transmission with both variants successfully evaded antibody neutralisation..
  • This shows that when the virus takes hold, it will be more difficult to eliminate in cells that can fuse with each other..
  • Viruses have coexisted with humans and animals for millennia, so they have evolved tricks to avoid being recognised by our immune system….

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