Scientists determine how SARS kills

Jul 14, 2005

Scientists reportedly have developed a therapy to decrease the extraordinarily high death rate associated with the SARS virus.

The International Herald Tribune said researchers told the journal Nature-Medicine they have solved the chemical riddle of why the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus causes such a deadly pneumonia.

During 2003, SARS killed nearly 800 people worldwide and resulted in the closing of airports, stores and schools across Asia.

Scientists studying mice say they've determined SARS is caused by a member of the coronavirus family. The virus interferes with a crucial enzyme pathway regulating body fluid balance, the report said. By blocking that enzyme system in the lungs, the virus allows liquid to leak into the lung's air sacs, making them boggy and inefficient.

Josef Penninger of the Austrian Academy of Science, lead author of the study, noted humans have the same enzyme system that's crucial in both species for blood pressure and fluid regulation.

Penninger said if the findings can be replicated in humans, the research may lead to a new treatment for SARS and other diseases causing death by allowing fluid into the lungs.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Generous welfare benefits make people more likely to want to work, not less

Related Stories

Enzyme inhibitors block replication of SARS virus

Mar 28, 2006

The study was conducted by researchers from Scripps Research; the Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan; and the National Taiwan University. It is being published today in the journal Chemistry and Biology.

Advance makes possible near-instantaneous DNA analysis

Aug 28, 2012

Picture this: You've brought your sick child to the doctor's office. After checking her pulse and blood pressure, he takes a nasal or throat swab and inserts it into a mysterious black box. Before the doctor ...

Recommended for you

Using Twitter to probe political polarization

48 minutes ago

We'd like to believe that our opinions are nuanced, balanced, high-minded, wise and above all, unique, but alas they are not—or so says Twitter. Most often, those we engage with on the popular social media ...

New research says Anne Frank likely died a month earlier

3 hours ago

Teenage Jewish diarist Anne Frank likely died of typhus in a Nazi concentration camp about a month earlier than previously thought, the Amsterdam museum that honors her memory said Tuesday on the 70th anniversary of the officially ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.