Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences said they have developed an inhalable neutralising antibody that can provide broad protection against the virus and several emerging variants in animal tests.
A new article, published in the journal Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy, showed that the antibody is based on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain.
It has capacity to effectively neutralise the virus strain and variants like Beta, Delta and Omicron.
Researchers from the academy’s Institute of Microbiology used a wild-type strain and Beta variants as immunogens, in order to obtain strong neutralisation of the antibody.
In animal experiments, the researchers delivered the antibody via the nose and detected no live virus or damage in the lungs of mice.
This is an indication that nasal delivery is an effective method for preventing virus infection, according to the article.
The research team also highlighted that the object they developed was an IgY (Immunoglobulin Y) antibody derived from egg yolk, which has the advantages of low cost and large-scale production.
This IgY antibody promises to be an effective supplement to the existing COVID-19 vaccines.
It may also help block the route of virus transmission in pets and other animals susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, the article said.