Following the last week’s finding of SARS virus in patients’ tears that makes diagnosis easier, scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the United States have developed a nasal SARS vaccine, reports reuters.com.
Experimental vaccine sprayed into the nose protects monkeys against the SARS virus and could be developed to immunise humans. Only one dose of the vaccine was needed for immunization.
"This study shows that delivering the vaccine directly to the respiratory tract can effectively protect primates from SARS," said Dr Brian Murphy, a co-chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Infectious Diseases.
Healthcentral.com quotes, that SARS first surfaced in southern China in late 2002. During the next six months, the disease infected more than 8,000 people worldwide, resulting in nearly 800 deaths in 27 countries. Caused by a previously undiscovered coronavirus, the respiratory illness usually begins with a fever of more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Other symptoms can include chills, headache, body aches and general discomfort.
After the worldwide concern caused by the 2002-03 SARS outbreak, the race began to find an effective vaccine against the illness. In April of this year, scientists announced the development of a DNA-based vaccine that seemed to prevent the illness in mice. However, many experts remain skeptical that DNA vaccines can be used effectively in humans.