Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an epidemic that spread worldwide in early 2003. The aetiological agent was originally defined as a novel coronavirus and later designated as the SARS coronavirus (SARSCoV), which appears similar to other coronaviruses in both virion structure and genome organization with a singlestranded, plus-sense RNA. However, the epidemiology and pathogenesis of SARS remain poorly understood and there is currently no effective treatment. To date, considerable research has been done on detection, prevention and treatment of SARS. In this review, we mainly focus on the recent patents and research work on detecting, preventing and treating SARS.