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New Vaccine Developed for Preventing “Uncommon” Cold Virus

February 2, 2009

Common colds typically cause a week of sneezing, aches and pains and then fade away leaving only a sore nose and a few used sick days behind. But what if that cold turned out to be something more?

Human adenovirus type-3 is known as the “uncommon cold” because the infection’s symptoms””runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever””are eerily similar to those of the common cold which is caused by the rhinovirus. The difference is that, unlike the common cold, the symptoms of the uncommon cold are typically much more severe and can even be fatal.

Adenovirus-3 thrives in nations with dense urban populations and has recently become prevalent in southern China and neighboring countries. It may also emerge in less likely locales with dense populations, such as schools, health care facilities and military training bases in the U.S.

Determined to stamp out this devastating infection, researchers from George Mason University, the University of Hong Kong, Guangzhou Children’s Hospital, the South China Institute of Technology and the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a DNA-based vaccine that has effectively protected mice from the infection.

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