Gene Predisposing To SARS Identified

12 October 2003


Scientists in Taiwan may have found a gene that makes people more susceptible to the deadly SARS virus, and this may explain why South east Asia was so badly hit by the disease.

The gene variant they think is linked with susceptibility to the SARS, is prominent in people of South Chinese Origin and the team hope to able to use the gene for a screening program for health care workers at greater risk of contracting SARS.

This may help explain why so few cases of SARS were seen in Europeans, since the gene is rare amongst the European population.

In other news this week, researchers in Canada have taken a step towards developing a vaccine for SARS using DNA sequences from the virus to modify a common cold-causing adenovirus, which it's hoped will eventually infect people and provoke an immune response against the disease.


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