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Infectious Disease

SARS Vaccine Gives Promising Results in Animal Trials

15 years, 3 months ago

1515  0
Posted on Dec 27, 2003, 9 a.m. By Bill Freeman

A genetically engineered vaccine against the deadly SARS virus has provided promising results in preliminary studies in monkeys, say researchers from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. Dr Andrea Gambotto and colleagues genetically altered a common cold virus to express SARS coronavirus antigens and then injected it into six rhesus monkeys.

A genetically engineered vaccine against the deadly SARS virus has provided promising results in preliminary studies in monkeys, say researchers from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. Dr Andrea Gambotto and colleagues genetically altered a common cold virus to express SARS coronavirus antigens and then injected it into six rhesus monkeys. Just two weeks after receiving the vaccine, all of the animals showed a detectable immune response against the cornoavirus that causes SARS. The scientists are now planning to test the experimental vaccine in ferrets, and hope to begin human trials before the end of 2004. Gambotto says that the experimental vaccine is a "very good candidate vaccine," and that it is cheap to produce. Groups of Chinese and Canadian scientists are also hoping to commence human trials of a SARS vaccine in 2004.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: The Lancet 2003;362:1895-1896.

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