The near pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) emphasized that new and emerging infectious diseases not only continue to plague the world but also how the scientific community can unite to rapidly identify the causative agent and develop strategies such as vaccines to control its spread. The availability of the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) genome sequence paved the way for the identification of recombinant vaccine candidates for SARS. Based on previous successful animal CoV vaccines, vaccinologists focused on the major CoV structural proteins such as the spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins as vaccine candidates. We will review the vaccine strategies SARS researchers have used and discuss current SARS animal models used for vaccine evaluation. The small number of SARS cases in 2004 has raised questions about whether SARS will return as a pandemic and the cost-effectiveness of testing a SARS vaccine in human clinical trials. Finally, the SARS outbreaks identified several gaps in the response to emerging infectious diseases. The SARS Accelerated Vaccine Initiative (SAVI) was established to provide rapid solutions to a public health emergency and to develop a new research paradigm for vaccine development for newly emerging and reemerging infectious diseases.
Keywords: sars, vaccines, coronavirus, neutralizing antibodies, immunology
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