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Old 05-23-2020, 02:23 AM
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Can llamas help fight covid-19?


https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...study-benefits
Quote:
A study published last week in the journal Cell found that antibodies in llamas’ blood could offer a defense against the coronavirus. In addition to larger antibodies like ours, llamas have small ones that can sneak into spaces on viral proteins that are too tiny for human antibodies, helping them to fend off the threat. The hope is that the llama antibodies could help protect humans who have not been infected.
I don't understand how this could work. It seems like it would require regular infusions of these antibodies (as opposed to one or several shots of a vaccine). Doing this for an entire population, or even just healthcare workers and first responders, seems like it would be logistical nightmare.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:59 AM
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These are.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:07 AM
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Here is a pretty interesting piece on llama antibodies in general.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:34 AM
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Has anyone thrown a Kitchen Sink at a Covid patient yet?
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:04 AM
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Can llamas help fight covid-19?
Yes, but it's hard to get them to wear the Boxing Gloves.


Don't even get started on the Cup.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Here is a pretty interesting piece on llama antibodies in general.
That is interesting. I wonder how long they would last in the human body.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:32 AM
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That is interesting. I wonder how long they would last in the human body.
Well, the wolves would probably get them...
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:13 PM
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Just a fun fact, we had llamas on a farm for a few years when I grew up. They ARE NOT cute and cuddly and nice as they look.

They have a strict hierarchy and will kick, spit and neck bump you at the slightest whim. But thy are effective as guards WHEN trained correctly.

Last edited by Carryon; 05-23-2020 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:14 PM
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Has anyone thrown a Kitchen Sink at a Covid patient yet?
I'm stealing this line!
I'm so sick of headlines about miracle cures.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post
Yes, but it's hard to get them to wear the Boxing Gloves.


Don't even get started on the Cup.
My wife's cousin owns llamas, and they are more into kick boxing.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Carryon View Post
Just a fun fact, we had llamas on a farm for a few years when I grew up. They ARE NOT cute and cuddly and nice as they look.

They have a strict hierarchy and will kick, spit and neck bump you at the slightest whim. But thy are effective as guards WHEN trained correctly.
So, when llamas in Minecraft spit at you, and bump you, that's realistic. Good to know.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:22 PM
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Another fun Llama fact: they have “fighting” teeth!
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:41 PM
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Reporting as ordered, and I'm ready to help.
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by davidm View Post
When I look at the abstract for the original article, they aren't even suggesting that "antibodies in llamas’ blood could offer a defense against the coronavirus". The Guardian more or less made that up. What the abstract says is:

Quote:
which may serve not only as useful reagents for researchers studying the viruses causing MERS, SARS, and
COVID-19, but also potential therapeutic candidates.
Therapeutic, not preventative. And that's from the guys doing llama research, who are taking this opportunity to big-note themselves, get published, and appeal for grant money.

But still, very fun idea. I like llamas too: they've got big eyes, even if that is misleading. Bit of a wet blanket. Sorry.

Last edited by Melbourne; 05-24-2020 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:37 AM
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When I look at the abstract for the original article, they aren't even suggesting that "antibodies in llamas’ blood could offer a defense against the coronavirus". The Guardian more or less made that up.
Science and medical reporting does shit like this all the time. Pay no attention to articles in the popular press, use the article only as a source for the original research.
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:19 AM
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Science and medical reporting does shit like this all the time. Pay no attention to articles in the popular press, use the article only as a source for the original research.
Which is why I questioned it.
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Old 05-24-2020, 03:24 PM
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You have to train them properly: first they must learn to spit the right antibodies (and only those!) straight into your eyes. Then you have to rub them in. Not easy, but feasible if you really try.
My guess is that it would be more effective to train Plasmodium falciparum to eat the virus up, P. falciparum is easier to get in your blood and it reproduces on its own. It remains to be tested if the training, in case it is effective at all, is also hereditary. A tall order, I must admit.
And now for something completely different: las llamas! (que son mas grandes que las ranas)
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Old 05-24-2020, 04:43 PM
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FWIW the NYT coverage of it makes the same claim:
Quote:
The researchers are hopeful the antibody can eventually be used as a prophylactic treatment, by injecting someone who is not yet infected to protect them from the virus, such as a health care worker. While the treatment’s protection would be immediate, its effects wouldn’t be permanent, lasting only a month or two without additional injections.

This proactive approach is at least several months away, but the researchers are moving toward clinical trials. Additional studies may also be needed to verify the safety of injecting a llama’s antibodies into human patients.
But an NPR interview with one of the authors (Wrapp) discusses as a treatment.
Quote:
KING: Wrapp and Saelens started studying llama antibodies and coronaviruses way back in 2016. Now they're working to develop a COVID-19 treatment from the antibodies.

INSKEEP: And they say this treatment would work differently from a vaccine.

WRAPP: For a treatment, if somebody's already experiencing symptoms, they had already become infected, this is something that they could be given right away to reduce that disease burden and, hopefully, help them fight off the virus more quickly.

INSKEEP: The researchers are hoping to begin human clinical trials as early as this fall.
From UT news some additional detail -
Quote:
“Vaccines have to be given a month or two before infection to provide protection,” McLellan said. “With antibody therapies, you’re directly giving somebody the protective antibodies and so, immediately after treatment, they should be protected. The antibodies could also be used to treat somebody who is already sick to lessen the severity of the disease.”

This would be especially helpful for vulnerable groups such as elderly people, who mount a modest response to vaccines, which means that their protection may be incomplete. Health care workers and other people at increased risk of exposure to the virus can also benefit from immediate protection.

When llamas’ immune systems detect foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses, these animals (and other camelids such as alpacas) produce two types of antibodies: one that is similar to human antibodies and another that’s only about a quarter of the size. These smaller ones, called single-domain antibodies or nanobodies, can be nebulized and used in an inhaler.

“That makes them potentially really interesting as a drug for a respiratory pathogen because you’re delivering it right to the site of infection,” said Daniel Wrapp, a graduate student in McLellan’s lab and co-first author of the paper.
The first part of the quote does sound like they are interested in using it as a preventative.

That idea has precedence - it is called "passive immunization"
Quote:
Passive immunity is the transfer of active humoral immunity of ready-made antibodies. Passive immunity can occur naturally, when maternal antibodies are transferred to the fetus through the placenta, and it can also be induced artificially, when high levels of antibodies specific to a pathogen or toxin (obtained from humans, horses, or other animals) are transferred to non-immune persons through blood products that contain antibodies, such as in immunoglobulin therapy or antiserum therapy.[1] Passive immunization is used when there is a high risk of infection and insufficient time for the body to develop its own immune response, or to reduce the symptoms of ongoing or immunosuppressive diseases.[2] Passive immunization can be provided when people cannot synthesize antibodies, and when they have been exposed to a disease that they do not have immunity against.[3]
There is an extant technology platform to produce llama monoclonal antibodies in bulk. (For example from a quick search.)

To have that as an inhalation treatment preventatively for highest risk people (by exposure or risk factors)? Maybe not so crazy. I'd be fearful of side effects myself.

Last edited by DSeid; 05-24-2020 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 05-24-2020, 04:48 PM
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Has anyone thrown a Kitchen Sink at a Covid patient yet?


In simulation, not actual patients, they have tried an entire laundry list of known drugs against the disease. Back in March, IBM used the fastest supercomputer in the world to simulate the effects of 8,000 known compounds to see if any might interfere with the viruses ability to infect a cell. 77 were identified for further research.

Sometimes using BFFI (Brute Force and Fucking Ignorance) is the smart move.

Last edited by DinoR; 05-24-2020 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:42 PM
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I think Monty Python was on to something:

Quote:
Executive Producer JOHN GOLDSTONE & "RALPH" The Wonder Llama Producer MARK FORSTATER Assisted By EARL J. LLAMA MIKE Q. LLAMA III SY LLAMA MERLE Z. LLAMA IX Directed By 40 SPECIALLY TRAINED ECUADORIAN MOUNTAIN LLAMAS 6 VENEZUELAN RED LLAMAS 142 MEXICAN WHOOPING LLAMAS 14 NORTH CHILEAN GUANACOS (CLOSELY RELATED TO THE LLAMA) REG LLAMA OF BRIXTON 76000 BATTERY LLAMAS FROM "LLAMA-FRESH" FARMS LTD. NEAR PARAGUAY and TERRY GILLIAM & TERRY JONES
Sadly, a moose bit my sister, so there is that against the llamas...


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Reporting as ordered, and I'm ready to help.
You should definitely be listed with the above.
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