What is the role of monoclonal antibodies in treating Covid infection today, with so many Omicron variants circulating? Elizabeth Tracey reports
With new Covid variants turning up frequently, do monoclonal antibodies, which are very specific, still have a role in treatment? Infectious disease expert Stuart Ray at Johns Hopkins says new ones are continuously being developed.
Ray: Monoclonal antibody treatments are really innovative in the way we’re used them and we’ve had so many of them, we’ve never had such an arsenal of tools for dealing with the virus. The challenge is the virus as it evolves is often evolving to escape the very antibodies that we’re basing those treatments on. Because these monoclonal antibodies are mono clones of responses that somebody had, because that’s how we get them, there’s the potential for the virus to escape those. In general when we get them early we can help protect people using a treatment that is very much like what the body would do if it were working well. :34
Ray says if you’re at risk for a poor outcome with Covid, your provider may discuss monoclonal antibody treatment with you. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.