Monday, 30 June 2003

Rome (Fides Service) – To speed up research on the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS the American National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease NIAID has made available a micro-array for rapid discernment of genetic modifications in various types of SARS virus. The micro-array comprises 29,700 basic copies of the SARS Corona virus DNA. It was produced thanks to data offered by American, Canadian and Asia research centres which discovered the sequence of the complete virus genome. The announcement is the result of an agreement between the US government, non profit organisations and industrial partners. NIAID acquired several hundred SARS micro-arrays, (a quartz chip containing data of the genome modifications in the various types of the SARS virus) which it will distribute free to qualified researchers anywhere in the world.
“NIAID intends in this way to contribute to research making available this genome resource for the global scientific community – said Anthony Fauci the director -. This powerful tool will promote better understanding of the new pathogen and its diffusion, in the hope of finding as soon as possible an effective counter-measure”.
As yet no vaccine or specific treatment exists for SARS which has infected almost 8,500 people of whom 800 died since it was first identified in November 2002. AP (Fides Service 30/6/2003 EM lines 19 Words: 232)