Just months after the SARS coronavirus was identified and sequenced, researchers have published the first report of a vaccine that has induced a virus-neutralizing response in animals.

The report, by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania in collaboration with colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia represents the first published work on the development of a SARS vaccine.

“It is our hope that this research will lead to a protective vaccine against SARS,” says researcher Andrea Gambotto of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is a severe form of pneumonia that affected a number of cities throughout the world in 2003.

SARS usually begins with a high fever, headache, body aches and sore throat. Respiratory symptoms such as a dry cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing appear two to seven days after exposure.

Scientists suspect that SARS originated in China’s Guangdong province, where the highest concentration of SARS cases continue to occur.

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