Scientists Create Antibody That Defeats Coronavirus In Laboratory
Scientists created a monoclonal antibody that can defeat the new coronavirus in the lab, an early but promising step in efforts to find treatments and curb the pandemic’s spread.
The experimental antibody has neutralised the virus in cell cultures. While that’s early in the drug development process— before animal research and human trials— the antibody may help prevent or treat COVID-19 and related diseases in the future, either alone or in a drug combination, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Communications.
More research is needed to see whether the findings are confirmed in a clinical setting and how precisely the antibody defeats the virus, Berend-Jan Bosch of Utrecht University in the Netherlands and colleagues wrote in the paper.
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The antibody known as 47D11 targets the spike protein that gives the new coronavirus a crown-like shape and lets it enter human cells. In the Utrecht experiments, it didn’t just defeat the virus responsible for COVID-19, but also a cousin equipped with similar spike proteins, which causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
Monoclonal antibodies are lab-created proteins that resemble naturally-occurring versions the body raises to fight off bacteria and viruses. Highly potent, they target exactly one site on a virus. In this case, the scientists used genetically-modified mice to produce different antibodies to the spike proteins of coronaviruses.
After a subsequent screening process, 47D11 emerged as showing neutralising activity. Researchers then reformatted that antibody to create a fully human version, according to the paper.
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“Monoclonal antibodies targeting vulnerable sites on viral surface proteins are increasingly recognised as a promising class of drugs against infectious diseases and have shown therapeutic efficacy for a number of viruses,” Bosch and colleagues wrote.
Monoclonal antibodies already sparked a treatment revolution in cancer, with medicines such as Merck & Co.’s Keytruda and Roche Holding AG’s Herceptin becoming some of the world’s bestsellers. AbbVie Inc.’s blockbuster inflammation treatment Humira is also part of the monoclonal antibody family.
Two such antibody therapies show promise against Ebola. Companies such as Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. are also working on possible antibody treatments for the coronavirus.
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World Hearing Day:Wilbon ENT, Head And Neck Clinic Offers 30 People Free Ear Disease Treatment
The management of Wilbon ENT, Head and Neck Clinic marked the World hearing day with free hearing and ear disease screening to over 30 indigent patients in celebration of the day .
The 2023 World Hearing Day has as its theme: ” Ear and Hearing Care for all ! Let’s make it a reality.”
At the event on Saturday, March 4, put together by Medical Director, Wilbon ENT, Head and Neck Clinic , Dr Patrick Okundia said it was an opportunity to give back to the society in the free hearing screening and ear disease treatment.
According to him, over 30 people benefited from the free hearing screening and ear disease treatment.
On his part, a medical expert with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Dr Eustace Oseghale gave a health talk to
sensitize the public on the need for regular check up on Ear, Nose Throat care.
The beneficiaries were full of praises for the Medical Director, Dr Patrick Okundia .
UBTH ENT H&N Dept Marks World Hearing Day, Reiterates Commitment To Quality Service Delivery
Medical Experts from the Department of Ear Nose Throat Head and Neck Surgery (ENT H&N), University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) have marked the 2023 World Hearing Day with a pledge to provide Ear and hearing care for all.
The 2023 World Hearing Day has as its theme: ” Ear and Hearing Care for all: Let’s make it a reality.”
The Chief Medical Director, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) , Prof. Darlington Obaseki who acknowledged the good works of the ENT H&N department, reiterated his support for the department in the area of improving ear and hearing care.
Other stakeholders who spoke during the World Hearing Day 2023 highlighted the importance of ear and hearing care.
As part of activities to mark the 2023 World Hearing Day, the ENT H&N team also paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, University of Benin (UNIBEN), Prof Lilian Salami, who restated her continued support for the sister institution’s medical experts.
Delivering a lecture entitled, ” Ear and Hearing Care for all! Let’s make it a reality” Chief Medical Director, Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH), Oghara, Prof. Nekwu Okolugbo noted that the hearing day was key in re-dedicating special attention to issues of Ear and hearing care for all.
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The event which climaxed with the hearing screening and free ear treatment, where over 80 patients benefited from the exercise, had in attendance renowned medical Experts who included, Edo Health insurance commission, Dr Owen Omorogbe, and a former commissioner for Health in Edo state, Dr. Patrick Okundia.
Others include, Head Department of Ear Nose Throat Head and Neck Surgery (ENT H&N), University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Dr. Amina Okhakhu, Director General, Edo Health Insurance Commission, Dr. Rock Amegor ,LOC Chairman Dr Eustace Oseghale and the Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria among others.
How Nigeria’s High Fertility Rate Promotes Insecurity – Experts
Nigeria’s high fertility rate is associated with increased insecurity, banditry, underemployment, and maternal and infant mortality in the country, experts have said.
Nigeria’s fertility rate, which is said to be 5.3 births per woman, is one of the highest in the world.
The fertility rate is the number of children born alive to women during the year as a proportion of the average annual population of women of the same age.
The Chairman of the Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, Dr Ejike Orji, said the growing youth population encouraged insecurity in the country.
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“We have this youthful bulge where 72 per cent of the population is under the age of 30. They don’t have jobs, so they can easily be recruited as bandits, kidnappers, religious bigots, ethnic bigots and unscrupulous politicians.
“That is why we have this very terrible insecurity that we have in the country right now, and we have 18.5 million out-of-school children. After that, you see a high level of emigration because young people are finding Nigeria very uncomfortable, and both skilled and unskilled are leaving the country.
“Then, you have armed robbers, kidnappers, and bandits killing people all over the country,” Orji said.
Also, the President of the Association for Reproductive and Family Health, Prof Oladapo Ladipo, said the negative effects of overpopulation were expressed in different ways, including insecurity.
He said, “When you have the nexus of overpopulation, underemployment, inequity, what you have is a growth of radicalism and banditry, and that is what we have now.
“What you need is qualitative reproduction, not quantitative reproduction. Have the number of children you can cater to and bring up in a healthy environment, and provide resources for their education.
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“But what we have now is reckless reproduction, and that is why we have so many almajiris. We have many people with certificates but no jobs.
“The government itself is overwhelmed by the population. The number of bed spaces is not enough for the population. The number of institutions is not enough for the youths that are growing up,” he added.
The experts, however, said with free maternal health services and an increase in family planning, funding would reduce the high fertility rate and maternal mortality.
Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate is still among the highest in the world, with an estimated 512 deaths per 100,000 live births, making the country far from achieving the Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
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