The mouse immune system develops antibodies capable of single-handedly neutralizing the SARS virus, researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) report in the April 1 issue of the Journal of Virology, available online March 12. NIAID is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Genetic material from the SARS virus, stained red, is shown in cells lining the airways of mice. Image courtesy of Sherif R. Zaki M.D., PhD., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This discovery affirms that researchers developing vaccines that trigger antibodies to the SARS virus are heading in the right direction. Vaccines can stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies or specialized cells or both to stop invading viruses.
"Since SARS emerged in people in late 2002, global public health experts have been anxiously awaiting a vaccine for this potentially fatal respiratory ailment. Knowing which arm of the immune system to trigger brings us one step closer to that goal," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
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