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Contenuto archiviato il 2024-05-29

Complementary research action to support sars-related diagnostic, therapeutics and vaccin


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a life-threatening form of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The prevention and/or containment of future outbreaks will depend on our understanding of SARS-CoV biology, pathogenesis, and evolution. An overall strategy to combat this novel virus needs to be designed, in particular using reliable diagnostic tools, specific antiviral compounds, and a SARS-CoV vaccine. The SARS-DTV consortium consists of a balanced mixture of scientists that have worked on coronaviruses for most of their professional career and specialists in other fields. The expertise of the first group covers coronavirus molecular biology, evolution and immunology. Complementary expertise, and state of the art technology, is supplied by partners specialized in structural biology, B- and T- cell immunology, in vivo model sytems, diagnostics and drug screening. Also a number of Asian partners participate in the consortium to ensure access to SARS-CoV-related materials and a constant dialogue with researchers in the primary SARS-affected area of the world and its rapidly developing SARS research programme. The overall objective of the SARS-DTV network is to contribute to the development of candidate anti- SARS-CoV drugs, vaccines and diagnostic assays, by collaborative and complementary research divided into four Work packages. Molecular targets for anti-SARS-CoV therapy will be identified and characterised in terms of structure and function. (Bio)chemical approaches will identify "lead compounds" (candidate antiviral agents). The correlates of the humoral and cellularprotective anti-SARS-CoV immune response will be defined and the role of immunopathology in SARS will be addressed. The Model Systems work package aims to develop SARS- CoV reverse genetic systems as research tools and apply these to automated drug testing in the form of a bio- safe, cell culture-based screening system...

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