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.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

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.