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Development of intervention strategies against sars in a European-Chinese taskforce


This research proposal is comprehensive, encompassing all the complementary aspects necessary for the development of intervention strategies, including vaccination, immunotherapy, and antivirals to protect against SARS. In addition, techniques and materials will be generated to develop diagnostic kits that will lead to the identification of infected individuals at very early steps of the disease, and to differentiate between vaccinated and naturally infected people. The first focus of the project is vaccine development. Accordingly, a set of complementary strategies is proposed to guarantee the success. These strategies include "classical" vaccines (such as whole inactivated virus), subunit vaccines, and state of the art-recombinant technology derived vaccines. The second focus of the project is on the state of the art-therapeutic approaches, ranging from the use of monoclonal antibodies to specific antivirals. For achieving the primary objectives of this project, the availability of an adequate preclinical setting for SARS-CoV research, including animal models, as well as the access to relevant clinical samples are absolute preconditions. These all met in this project, as a result of the expertise of the individual groups involved. To develop this comprehensive project, laboratories from the European Union and China are collaborating. The laboratories from EU member states (Spain, UK, and The Netherlands), have a long term experience (more than twenty years) in coronavirus pathology, immunology and molecular biology. The groups from China have key knowledge on the onset and evolution of SARS, high technology, and have generated large collections of biological materials: viruses, sera, tissues, clinical and epidemiological data.

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