Bovine colostrum-derived antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 show great potential to serve as prophylactic agents

PLoS One. 2022 Jun 10;17(6):e0268806. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0268806. eCollection 2022.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to impose a serious burden on health systems globally. Despite worldwide vaccination, social distancing and wearing masks, the spread of the virus is ongoing. One of the mechanisms by which neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) block virus entry into cells encompasses interaction inhibition between the cell surface receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2-specific NAb development can be induced in the blood of cattle. Pregnant cows produce NAbs upon immunization, and antibodies move into the colostrum immediately before calving. Here, we immunized cows with SARS-CoV-2 S1 receptor binding domain (RBD) protein in proper adjuvant solutions, followed by one boost with SARS-CoV-2 trimeric S protein and purified immunoglobulins from colostrum. We demonstrate that this preparation indeed blocks the interaction between the trimeric S protein and ACE2 in different in vitro assays. Moreover, we describe the formulation of purified immunoglobulin preparation into a nasal spray. When administered to human subjects, the formulation persisted on the nasal mucosa for at least 4 hours, as determined by a clinical study. Therefore, we are presenting a solution that shows great potential to serve as a prophylactic agent against SARS-CoV-2 infection as an additional measure to vaccination and wearing masks. Moreover, our technology allows for rapid and versatile adaptation for preparing prophylactic treatments against other diseases using the defined characteristics of antibody movement into the colostrum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Cattle
  • Colostrum / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
  • spike protein, SARS-CoV-2
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2

Grant support

This study was supported by the funding from Enterprise Estonia grant number 2014-2020.4.02.21-0317. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.