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Health Agencies Update
August 22/29, 2007

SARS Antibodies

JAMA. 2007;298(8):853. doi:10.1001/jama.298.8.853-d

Scientists hoping to protect against future outbreaks of SARS have identified human antibodies that may act against several SARS virus strains.

Two strains of SARS virus of animal origin caused outbreaks of SARS in humans in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004. Researchers believe that future outbreaks caused by novel strains of SARS virus are likely, so developing therapeutics or vaccines that are effective against a variety of strains is important. A multinational team of researchers has identified two human antibodies, m396 and S230.15, that may offer such protection (Zhu Z et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007;104[27]:12123-12128). The team identified S230.15 by scanning a large library of antibodies from healthy human volunteers, seeking antibodies that bind the SARS virus. The group isolated m396 from samples taken from an individual who survived SARS. Tests in human cells and mice verified that, alone and in combination, the antibodies offered protection from several strains of the virus.

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