Anti-SARS-CoV-2 equine F (Ab')2 immunoglobulin as a possible therapy for COVID-19

Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 10;12(1):3890. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-07793-1.


The new outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has infected and caused the death of millions of people worldwide. Intensive efforts are underway around the world to establish effective treatments. Immunoglobulin from immunized animals or plasma from convalescent patients might constitute a specific treatment to guarantee the neutralization of the virus in the early stages of infection, especially in patients with risk factors and a high probability of progressing to severe disease. Worldwide, a few clinical trials using anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulins from horses immunized with the entire spike protein or fragments of it in the treatment of patients with COVID-19 are underway. Here, we describe the development of an anti-SARS-CoV-2 equine F(ab')2 immunoglobulin using a newly developed SARS-CoV-2 viral antigen that was purified and inactivated by radiation. Cell-based and preclinical assays showed that the F(ab')2 immunoglobulin successfully neutralizes the virus, is safe in animal models, and reduces the severity of the disease in a hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COVID-19 / therapy*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Horses / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / immunology
  • Immunoglobulins / isolation & purification
  • Immunoglobulins / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus / immunology
  • Plasmapheresis / veterinary
  • Receptors, Immunologic / immunology
  • Receptors, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology*


  • F(ab')2 receptor
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Receptors, Immunologic