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J Infect Dis. 2004 Feb 15;189(4):634-41. Epub 2004 Jan 28.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome: developing a research response.

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  • 1National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Building 31, Rm. 7A03, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


When severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) first came to world attention in March 2003, it was immediately perceived to be a global threat with a pandemic potential. To help coordinate international research efforts, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases convened a colloquium entitled SARS: Developing a Research Response on 30 May 2003. Breakout sessions intended to identify unmet research needs in 5 areas of SARS research--clinical research, epidemiology, diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines--are summarized here. Since this meeting, however, the identified research needs have been only partially met. Needs that have yet to be realized include reliable methods for early identification of individuals with SARS, a full description of SARS pathogenesis and immune response, and animal models that faithfully mimic SARS respiratory symptoms. It is also of the utmost importance that the global scientific community enhance mechanisms for international cooperation and planning for SARS research, as well as for other emerging infectious disease threats that are certain to arise in the future.

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