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STATES CHRONICLE – According to the latest news, scientist found a potential new treatment for MERS virus. Scientists claimed they discovered a new antibody treatment for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). They said the antibody blocks the lethal virus in mice.
MERS is a disease which causes serious respiratory infections. It was estimated that MERS killed almost 600 individuals since its first discovery, four years ago. MERS was discovered in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. Researchers declared the disease spread to humans from camels, which may have caught the virus from bats.The most frequent MERS symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Elderly and those whose immune systems are weakened are at greater risk for serious disease and death. For the moment, there are no approved MERS vaccines or specific treatments.The new study was conducted by a group of scientists from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). After a set of tests, it was found their new treatment protected mice from MERS virus.
The antibody was created in cows which had been genetically structured to adapt to certain features of the human immune system. These cows were introduced a new MERS vaccine that resulted in the production of anti-MERS antibodies in massive quantities. After this, the antibodies were cleansed in order to produce the treatment. Ultimately, scientists tested the new treatment on mice infected with MERS virus. Experts claimed their results looked very promising.
Moreover, Matthew B Frieman, an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at UMSOM said
‘This is important not only because it gives us a potential way to attack MERS, but also because it provides evidence that using these transgenic cows can rapidly produce therapeutics’.
AB, a biopharmaceutical company in South Dakota provided the genetically modified cows. It is said this company invented the technology which enabled scientists to modify the cows. Also, Novavax, a vaccine biotech company in Gaithersburg, U.S, furnished the vaccine which triggered the antibodies production in the cows. Researchers announced the next step will take place in the following months.
They claim there will be a human clinical trial to find out if the new treatment is safe. If everything works as expected, a Phase 2 trial will follow to point out the treatment’s effectiveness in humans, especially in emergency situations. Further details on the New Treatment for MERS Virus can be read in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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