Researchers use cows to produce promising new MERS treatment

Microbiologists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have used genetically modified cows to produce a new treatment for Middle East respiratory syndrome, an illness that has killed nearly 600 people since it was first discovered in 2012.

Researchers involved in the study modified the cows' immune systems to mimic certain qualities of those of humans. The cows were then given a new MERS vaccine, which caused them to produce large quantities of anti-MERS antibodies. Researchers purified those antibodies to produce a new therapeutic for the illness, which was tested in mice.

The results of the treatment trial in mice were called "promising" by the lead researchers on the study, Matthew B. Frieman, PhD, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

"This is important not only because it gives us a potential way to attack MERS, but also because it provides evidence that using these transgenic cows can rapidly produce therapeutics," said Dr. Frieman.



More articles on MERS:
WHO publishes list of emerging diseases likely to cause major epidemics
Researchers hint at potential anti-MERS drug
Purdue researchers discover weakness of MERS virus

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