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Construction of anti-SARS-CoV-2 Fab fragment library from convalescent patients and selection of human antibodies to COVID-19


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 2019 and represents a great challenge for medical and scientific community nowadays involved with disease elucidation and finding effective treatments and vaccines to control the pandemic. The use of specific antibodies against infectious agents is a strategy applied successfully since the end of nineteen century to fight infectious diseases. The development of techniques to obtain recombinant monoclonal antibodies became possible the selection of more specific antibodies for disease agents. Among these techniques we can highlight the phage display technology based on the antibody selection against defined targets using antibody gene library presented by bacteriophages. The objective of the present project is the construction of anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune library containing human antibody genes from RNA obtained by mononuclear cells of COVID-19 convalescent patients. Then the immune library will be challenged against receptor binding domain (RBD) fragment of spike protein from SARS-CoV-2, since it is the region responsible for the virus contact with host cell. Rounds of in vitro affinity selection through phage display will be applied for the library enrichment. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies will be isolated from the enriched library and clones presenting high binding to the antigen will be characterized in relation to the affinity. We expect to have promising candidates for COVID-19 therapeutic and/or prophylactic use to avoid disease dissemination. (AU)

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