Shark protein can prevent Covid-19 and SARS-CoV-2 virus variants

A new study shows that antibody-like proteins found in the immune system of sharks can block the SARS-CoV-2 virus and variants.

Picture 1 of Shark protein can prevent Covid-19 and SARS-CoV-2 virus variants
This photo shows a shark off the coast of Massachusetts (USA).

The Daily Mail (UK) on December 16 quoted Professor Aaron LeBeau at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) as saying that these proteins in the immune system of sharks, called VNARs, are one-tenth the size of antibodies in humans. people. This size allows them to 'go into corners and cracks that are difficult for human antibodies to reach'.

Mr. LeBeau and his team have identified 3 types of VNAR that are effective in preventing the SARS-CoV-2 virus from attacking human cells. In addition, these three types of VNAR are also effective in preventing SARS-CoV-1, which caused the SARS epidemic in 2003.

However, the researchers emphasize that these VNARs will not be available during the Covid-19 outbreak, but the team is preparing to use this protein to fight future epidemics. Professor LeBeau and his team worked twice as long to be able to leverage VNAR as a preventive measure for future diseases.

Mr. LeBeau shared: 'The big problem is that there are many Corona viruses that carry the risk of spreading among people. What we're doing is preparing for the treatment of shark VNARs for future severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemics'.

The researchers tested shark VNAR against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its version of the virus that cannot replicate in cells. Therefore, the studies were limited to 3 VNAR candidates that can be used for treatment. Professor LeBeau is also investigating the possibility of using shark VNAR in cancer treatment and diagnosis.

Scientists around the world have been studying sharks in the treatment of Covid-19 since more than a year ago. A natural oil in shark liver called squalene is considered an effective ingredient in the Covid-19 vaccine and has been used in a number of other potential vaccines.

Squalene is used as an agent to increase the effectiveness of vaccines by inducing a stronger immune response. However, the extraction of squalene from sharks has become the subject of controversy for animal activists because to obtain squalene this predatory fish would have to be killed.