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A vaccine was able to prevent the spread of SARS in mice

A genetic vaccine tested by American scientists on mice detects the virus upon its entry and manages to defend itself against it. It has not yet been proven that the experiment is also effective in humans

Senior scientists at the American National Institute of Infectious Diseases announced today that a genetic vaccine given to experimental mice has been shown to be effective in preventing infection with the SARS disease. The mice that were injected with the vaccine showed an immune response to Sars, and in some cases a decrease in the amount of virus in their lungs was recorded. The scientists who developed the vaccine said that further trials are needed to determine if it is also effective in humans.

Other scientists, not associated with the study, said that the results are indeed encouraging, but that a genetic vaccine has not yet been proven to be more effective than conventional vaccines based on weakened viruses.

The new vaccine is based on a protein substance from the virus tissue, which the body detects when it enters and allows it to defend itself in time. The vaccine was tested on a group of 15 mice for six months. One of the scientists developing the vaccine, Dr. Gary Nable, said that the American government and the Vikal company, which develops biotechnological products, are working to purify the vaccine in order to approve it for human trials as well.

China announced earlier this year that it had successfully tested a SARS vaccine injected into animals. More than 8,000 people have contracted the disease in the past year worldwide, 774 of whom have died.

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