The discovery of antibodies that block the most infectious elements of the coronavirus is helping Bay Area scientists unlock the many mysteries of human immunity, and could be crucial in the development of a vaccine.
Epidemiologists have found “neutralizing antibodies” in fewer than 5% of COVID-19 patients, but the ones they are now attempting to isolate are unique in their ability to prevent SARS-CoV-2 — the specific coronavirus that causes the illness — from entering human cells.
It means anyone with these antibodies would almost certainly be immune to the disease and that their blood plasma could potentially be used to inoculate others, according to several studies published over the past month by research laboratories in the United States and China.
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