I’m Dr. Jeff Kingsley and welcome to another edition of Riding in Cars with Researchers. Do you want to know how we’re coming up with therapies and vaccines for treating COVID-19 with therapies?
We are literally looking at patients who actually survived COVID-19. And their body made the right antibodies and got rid of it. They defeated it and beat the virus. So what scientists are doing is they’re taking blood samples from patients who succeeded in defeating COVID-19, and they’re looking at all of the antibodies.
Anytime your body sees something that is “not you” (a bacteria is not you; a virus is not you). Your body is continuously looking for threats; things that are not you. When your body sees something that it says, “Hey, this shouldn’t be here; this is not me”, your body then randomly starts making antibodies to it. Most of the antibodies you make are worthless. Your body makes an antibody to a protein on a cell surface that does nothing. That antibody successfully grabs a protein, but it doesn’t make a difference because that protein wasn’t actually meaningful, that protein didn’t have any influence in that virus’s ability to infect you. So that antibody was a waste of your time. And then as you continue to be sick, your body stumbles upon an antibody that effectively defeats the virus, it hits the right protein.
So what we’ve done is look at patients who successfully beat the virus, looked at all of their antibodies, tested all of their antibodies against the virus, and found out which antibodies actually made a difference. And then once we’re able to see one that one works, found the antibody that was really successful into feeding the virus, we can then turn that into a treatment for you.
That’s how we’re figuring out rapidly how to defeat this virus and then create treatments, prophylaxis, and vaccines.
Thanks for riding along!
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