Human antibodies that thwart the SARS virus in mice can be mass-produced quickly using a new laboratory technique developed by an international research team collaborating with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health. The new technique could become an important tool for developing a cocktail of SARS-specific antibodies that might help protect people recently exposed to the SARS virus or at high risk of exposure. The technique could also make possible the development of a similar approach to prevent or treat other illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.
The report describing these findings appears in the July 11, 2004, online issue of Nature Medicine.
"While much has been accomplished in our quest for a vaccine against SARS, a vaccine may provide little benefit to someone already infected," says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of NIAID. "Human SARS antibodies could offer a double benefit: they could be used as a potent frontline defense for health care workers and others at high risk of exposure and as an effective treatment for those individuals newly exposed to the virus." Currently, there is no specific effective treatment for SARS.
Jennifer Wenger | EurekAlert!
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