2014年5月5日讯 /生物谷BIOON/ --不久前，美国疾控中心（The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention，CDC）宣布一名去过沙特阿拉伯的美国人感染了中东呼吸系统综合征冠状病毒（MERS），这也为这种病毒在美国的传播敲响了警钟。现在，美国的疫苗研发公司Novavax和马里兰大学的研究团队开发针对MERS的疫苗在动物实验上表现出了良好的效果。
With the arrival of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in the U.S. and a rising death toll in Saudi Arabia, a vaccine designed by Novavax ($NVAX) and the University of Maryland has shown promise in blocking the infection in animals.
In a study published in Vaccine, researchers describe a novel method to rapidly develop vaccines against previously unknown viruses, such as MERS-CoV, which emerge suddenly and cause severe illness in humans. The experimental MERS jab was developed using Novavax's nanoparticle vaccine technology based on a surface spike protein, or 'S' protein, on the MERS virus that is responsible for binding the virus to target cells.
In mice, the vaccine candidate induced neutralizing antibodies that effectively blocked the virus from infecting cells.
The University of Maryland and Novavax team also reported in the study that a vaccine candidate against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) using a similar platform also inhibited virus infection.
Experts have questioned the logic of spending millions on a potential vaccines and immunization efforts and instead point to the possibility of targeting the likely source of the viral outbreak--camels.
At the same time, Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry said in April that it was working with 5 international pharma companies to develop a vaccine, which could be available as soon as this fall.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 2 confirmed the first U.S. case of MERS in a healthcare provider in Indiana with a history of travel to Saudi Arabia.