Why llama antibodies? Turns out, the fluffy, adorable camelids evolved antibodies that have the smallest binding sites of any known antibody. This allows llama antibodies to attach to a wide variety of disease antigens. Moreover, llama antibodies are exceptionally stable and easy to produce compared to other antibodies.
In their study, Laursen and his colleagues compared their llama-derived “vaccine,” called MD3606, to another universal flu vaccine candidate. They found that the llama-derived treatment, which was administered nasally, saved many, many more mice from a wide variety of flu infections. What’s more, it could be administered at much lower doses and it became effective in just three to seven days. Protection from the current flu vaccine in humans takes two weeks to kick in.