Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras recently developed an online open-source database, ‘Ab-CoV’ of coronaviruses neutralizing antibodies.
About Ab-CoV database:
- What is it? It is an online open-source database of coronaviruses’ neutralizing antibodies encompassing crucial features such as binding affinity and neutralization profiles of antibodies.
- It is an exhaustive repository of antibodies, not just specific to SARS CoV-2 but also to other members of the coronavirus family, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) viruses.
- It also contains the source of each antibody and the viral protein(s) and virus strains they recognize.
- It includes 1,780 coronavirus-related antibodies, including 211 nanobodies, and can help develop drugs against new variants of SARS-CoV-2.
- Ab-CoV has a wide range of search and display options through which users can directly search and download the processed data based on the antibody's name, viral protein epitope, neutralized viral strain, antibody, and nanobody.
- It also has the option to view structures of antibodies or viral proteins in a 3D model.
- Applications: The information compiled in this database can assist researchers in,
- antibody engineering;
- analyzing immune escape for known and future variants of SARS-CoV-2;
- computational studies on neutralizing antibodies;
- relating structural features with binding affinity;
Q1) What are antibodies?
An antibody is a protein component of the immune system that circulates in the blood, recognizes foreign substances like bacteria and viruses, and neutralizes them. After exposure to a foreign substance, called an antigen, antibodies continue to circulate in the blood, providing protection against future exposures to that antigen.