A four year old llama named Winter is a virus-fighting machine. Researchers from Texas, in collaboration with a Belgian team, had been working with antibodies from llamas to research Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) — both caused by coronaviruses — and found that llamas can neutralize those viruses. When COVID-19 struck, they put Winter to work to see if she could neutralize the novel coronavirus too.

She can, and she's no super-llama, according to their findings published in the journal "Cell."

Naturalist and author Sy Montgomery told Boston Public Radio on Monday that llamas produce "a special set of antibodies that are better than human ones."

Humans produce one type of antibody, whereas llamas produce two.

"The antibody that llamas have that we don't is smaller and fits into the nooks and crannies on the virus, and it lasts longer, so it works better than what we have to fight our version of this coronavirus, they're thinking this could either treat or prevent the diesease," said Montgomery.

This antibody is a genetic characteristic llamas share with all camelids, the family of mammals that also includes alpacas, guanacos and camels.