Double attack on SARS

August 28, 2012
Double attack on SARS
© Thinkstock

After the SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus) outbreak in 2003, academia experts in immunology and molecular biology joined forces with industrial vaccine production experts in order to develop preventive and therapeutic measures for SARS.

Despite the fatality of the SARS-CoV outbreak in Asia, the rising and quarantine measures managed to contain viral spread. However, it is believed that the SARS-CoV has not been fully eradicated and as a result, a vaccine as well as an immediate and effective are much needed.

To this end, scientists on the EU-funded 'Immunoprevention and immunotherapy of SARS infection' (Sarsvac) project proposed to follow a vaccination approach coupled with an immunotherapeutic regimen.

More specifically, the strategy for vaccine development consisted of two parallel approaches: the preparation of a classical vaccine made with attenuated SARS-CoV and the identification of potentially immunogenic viral antigens. These antigens were planned to be expressed in a vector-based vaccine for generating specific immunity against the virus.

Additionally, partners studied SARS-CoV–derived virus-like particles (VLPs) in order to understand the morphogenesis and maturation of virions. The information they obtained allowed them to identify specific epitopes that offered protective T and B cell-mediated immunity.

As an immunotherapeutic strategy, neutralising to SARS-CoV were developed and validated. The plan was to administer these as a treatment option to patients already infected with the virus.

The Sarsvac approach promises an immediate and long-term protection against a potential SARS-CoV infection. Commercial exploitation of this vaccine and immunotherapy combination may prove the solution against a future SARS-CoV outbreak.

Explore further: Study: SARS can infiltrate brain tissue

Related Stories

Study: SARS can infiltrate brain tissue

September 15, 2005

Severe acute respiratory syndrome is a disease of the respiratory tract and now scientists say they've found SARS can also infiltrate brain tissue.

Study looks at Chinese herb use for SARS

January 25, 2006

Scientists at the West China Hospital in Sichuan say they've found the addition of Chinese herbs to current SARS therapy does not decrease death rates.

New test speeds up SARS detection

August 1, 2007

In the fight against epidemics, those battling on the front lines may be on the verge of a new weapon, thanks to a team of University of Alberta researchers.

Protein from algae shows promise for stopping SARS

May 20, 2009

A protein from algae may have what it takes to stop Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) infections, according to new research. A recent study has found that mice treated with the protein, Griffithsin (GRFT), had a 100 ...

Recommended for you

In sub-Saharan Africa, cancer can be an infectious disease

August 26, 2016

In 1963, Irish surgeon Denis Parson Burkitt airmailed samples of an unusual jaw tumor found in Ugandan children to his colleague, Anthony Epstein, at Middlesex Hospital in London. Epstein, an expert in chicken viruses and ...

Zika virus may persist in the vagina days after infection

August 25, 2016

The Zika virus reproduces in the vaginal tissue of pregnant mice several days after infection, according to a study by Yale researchers. From the genitals, the virus spreads and infects the fetal brain, impairing fetal development. ...

Team discovers how Zika virus causes fetal brain damage

August 24, 2016

Infection by the Zika virus diverts a key protein necessary for neural cell division in the developing human fetus, thereby causing the birth defect microcephaly, a team of Yale scientists reported Aug. 24 in the journal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.