Scientists develop SARS vaccine with common poultry virus
The genes of a common poultry virus may hold the key to giving humans
immunity to diseases such as avian influenza and severe acute respiratory
University of Maryland
College Park researchers have received a US$4.1 million National Institutes of Health
contract to continue
research on a vaccine that, in early trials, successfully immunised monkeys
against SARS and human parainfluenza viruses.
The scientists, at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary
Medicine (VMRCVM), engineered a recombinant Newcastle Disease virus
(NDV), an avian paramyxovirus
, to create a vaccine that holds promise
to protect humans against multiple diseases.
"The Newcastle Disease
virus makes a very good vector for creating human vaccines," says Siba Samal,
the research team leader and associate dean of the VMRCVM at Maryland. "NDV
replicates in species other than poultry, but not enough to cause disease. Also,
there are nine types of paramyxoviruses and NDV is Serotype 1, so we can make
similar vaccine vectors with other avian paramyxovirus types, which can be used
to protect against more than one disease."
Their future research will include a vaccine for the avian
H5N1 and other human viruses for which vaccines are currently not
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