Sat, Dec 20, 2003 - Page 3 News List

SARS antibodies offer hope in battle against epidemic

CNA , TAIPEI

Serum extracted from the blood of 31 former SARS patients has been found to contain antibodies against the disease and could be a valuable weapon in fighting SARS, an official from the Chinese Blood Service Foudation said yesterday.

The anonymous official said 36 people who had recovered fully from the disease earlier this year and were free of hepatitis and other contagious diseases had donated blood for research. SARS antibodies were found in 31 of the serum samples.

As the antibodies are a valuable weapon in treating the disease, researchers have been eager to test it in clinic trials. However, the disease disappeared in Taiwan after July, making it impossible to find test subjects, said the official.

The latest SARS patient, confirmed on Wednesday, has been treated with the serum, the official added.

SARS flared up in Taiwan in March and claimed the lives of 37 people out of 346 that had been infected before it disappeared in July.

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