Plants can become the solution to Covid-19

Almost three years have passed since a pandemic emerged that left the world frozen, as if the video where the world worked had been paused, thus creating a time lapse that no one remembers. A blow that changed life completely, and not just that moment, since we still continue to have and innovate aspects by and for Covid-19 or whatever may come, always to preserve health.

One of these examples may be the new discovery created by the Institute of Molecular Biology and Plant Center (IBMCP), the joint center of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), where they have achieved use plants as biological factories that produce small particles and can serve as drugs.

What do these antibodies do?

From a technical point of view, nanoparticles have been created with small single-chain monoclonal antibodies (nanobodies) that act against the protein that envelopes SARS-CoV-2.

In other words, the discovery has made it possible to create small particles who wear some antibodies called nanobodies (those responsible for joining a strange structure to destroy dangerous elements) that act against the S protein of Covid-19 (element that enables the coronavirus to infect other cells).

Plant drugs

“In the same way that a compound produced naturally by a plant can be extracted, we we induce the production of the molecule we wantin this case the nanoparticles coated with nanobodies,” says CSIC research professor at the IBMCP, José Antonio Darós.

The research completely changes the scheme of use of plants to obtain drugs, now they are used to be able produce compounds of interest in the prevention, in this case, of the coronavirus. Although this not only represents progress in the prevention of viral molecules such as SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19), but It could also be used to produce more antibodies to other viruses.

“In particular, the nanoparticles developed in this work could be used as reagent in diagnostic tests of the coronavirus, such as test strips widely marketed. In a later step, their ability to also be used as therapeutic agents capable of inhibiting viral spread could be evaluated,” comments the postdoctoral researcher at the IBMCP and co-principal investigator of the study, Fernando Merwaiss.


The advantages of this production, experts explain, have several advantages such as low production cost (since plants only need sunlight, water, carbon dioxide and some non-organic nutrients to grow), are not contaminated with human pathogens or the ease of apply the results to mammalian cells.

Furthermore, the method that has been created provides the possibility of producing many antibodies in the same moleculethus increasing the capacity for action.

Source: Antena3


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