The researchers tested the blood plasma samples of four patients who had recovered from Covid-19 and to their surprise found that about 84 % of the antibodies did not attack the RBD and attacked areas of the spike protein different from the RBD.
When the Coronavirus contracts a person’s body, the body on its own produces antibodies to fight against the virus. Scientists and health researchers who have been involved with research on Coronavirus seem to have arrived at a complete picture of how the antibodies produced in the body take on the virus. The researchers working at the University of Texas at Austin (UTexas) have got their recent finding about the response of antibodies against Coronavirus published in the journal Science, the Indian Express reported.
It is not the first time that the response of antibodies against Coronavirus has been studied and many studies have been conducted on the same issue in the past as well. Large number of previous studies zeroed in on their focus on antibodies that attacked the most obvious part of the virus spike protein called the receptor-binding domain (RBD) as RBD enables the virus to replicate and multiply itself in the human body. The RBD is understood to be the part of the spike protein that gets linked directly to the human cells and causes replication of the infection.
However in the recent study completed at the University of Texas, the researchers tested the blood plasma samples of four patients who had recovered from Covid-19 and to their surprise found that about 84 % of the antibodies did not attack the RBD and attacked areas of the spike protein different from the RBD. One of the researchers from the team, Greg Ippolito who is a molecular bioscientist was quoted as saying that they found that the antibodies are attacking the whole spike protein of the virus rather than focusing exclusively on the RBD.
The antibodies target a region of the spike protein of the virus called N-terminal domain (NTD) and effectively check the spread of the virus. The study also found that NTD is also the region of the virus spike protein that is capable of frequent mutations and has been understood to be one of the reasons behind the emergence of various new mutations and variants of Coronavirus.