- The Washington Times - Monday, December 13, 2004


The National Institutes of Health is beginning a human trial to test the safety of an experimental vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

SARS, which was first recognized in 2002, killed 774 persons worldwide before being brought under control by quarantine, patient isolation and travel restrictions.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said yesterday it will test the vaccine in 10 volunteers, doing periodic follow-up exams for 32 weeks.

The vaccine has worked well in animals and this trial is intended primarily to determine whether it is safe in humans and whether the volunteers produce antibodies, the institute said.

Unlike most vaccines, which use either a weakened or killed virus to spur the body to produce an immune reaction, this vaccine uses a small piece of DNA that encodes a viral protein.

The NIAID vaccine is the second to begin a human trial against SARS. Chinese researchers began human testing of a vaccine in May using an inactivated SARS virus.



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