COVID super-immunity: one of the pandemic's great puzzles
COVID super-immunity: one of the pandemic’s great puzzles
Around a year ago — before Delta and other variants entered the COVID-19 lexicon — virologists Theodora Hatziioannou and Paul Bieniasz, both at Rockefeller University in New York City, set out to make a version of a key SARS-CoV-2 protein with the ability to dodge all the infection-blocking antibodies our body makes.
The goal was to identify the parts of spike — the protein SARS-CoV-2 uses to infect cells — that are targeted by these neutralizing antibodies in order to map a key part of our body's attack on the virus. So the researchers mixed and matched potentially concerning mutations identified in lab experiments and circulating viruses, and tested their Franken-spikes in harmless ‘pseudotype’ viruses incapable of causing COVID-19. In …
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