IIT Madras develops open-source database on coronavirus antibodies

IITM's database 'Ab-CoV' contains information on all 1,780 COVID-related antibodies identified to develop strategies against new variants.

IIT Madras develops open-source database on coronavirus antibodies IIT Madras researchers. (Picture: Press Release)
Ishita Ranganath | Mar 20, 2023 - 2:06 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) researchers have developed a online open-source database that contains all coronaviruses’ neutralizing antibodies identified so far. The database, 'Ab-CoV' includes source of each antibody, and the viral protein(s) and virus strains they recognize.

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The database has 1,780 coronavirus-related antibodies including 211 nanobodies. This initiative can also aid in the development of drugs against new variants of SARS-CoV-2. The IIT Madras development has been published in a peer-reviewed journal, Bioinformatics.

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The authors of the paper are- IIT Madras, school of biosciences, Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta and IITM, department of biotechnology, Puneet Rawat, Divya Sharma, R Prabakaran, Fathima Ridha, Mugdha Mohkhedkar, Vani Janakiraman, and M Michael Gromiha.

IIT Madras' database assists researchers in-

  • Antibody engineering
  • Analyzing immune escape for known and future variants of SARS-CoV-2
  • Computational studies on neutralizing antibodies, and
  • Relating structural features with binding affinity.

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Stressing the uniqueness of Ab-CoV, IIT Madras, Department of Biotechnology, faculty, M Michael Gromiha said: “Some of the data in the Ab-CoV database has already been used to understand the relationship between structural features and binding affinities of spike protein-antibody complexes as well as antibody repurposing.”

He further adds, "Ab-CoV also has a wide range of search and display options through which users can directly search and download the processed data, based on the antibody’s name, viral protein epitope, neutralized viral strain, antibody, and nanobody. It also has the option to view structures of antibodies or viral proteins in a 3D model.”

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