Swedish scientists are working on a radical COVID-19 blocker involving alpacas
Alpaca (Shutterstock)

Tyson the alpaca could hold the key to developing a process to block the coronavirus. FRANCE 24's Catherine Norris-Trent and James André report from the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Leading scientists in Stockholm are working on a pioneering treatment involving llamas and alpacas such as Tyson in the fight against Covid-19.

"Tyson has the antibodies against SARS-Covid-2 virus," explains Dr Gerald McInerney, Associate Professor of Virology at the Karolinska Institute. "Camels, and alpacas and llamas and other animals from that family have special, small single-chain antibodies.Tiny antibodies they've proved can block Covid-19."

The institute is studying how to put these tiny antibodies on cells, blocking the virus from getting in and to stop patients from developing the disease.

From alpaca blood samples the researchers can clone antibodies en masse in the laboratory. They hope to produce a short term treatment, most likely as a mouth spray, or inhaler.

"We are very excited that we have something that's very functional," says Dr McInerney.