Important legal notice
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Communicable diseases
Communicable diseases - Focusing on neglected killers
“To reduce the threat of a future SARS epidemics by the development of novel treatments and diagnostic tests.”

The problem

SARS – or severe acute respiratory syndrome – is a life-threatening form of pneumonia caused by a new virus that emerged in China. Recent studies have reported very similar viruses in animals and that many animal handlers showed evidence of previous SARS infections. These findings underline possible animal to human transfer of the SARS virus and the potential for another SARS epidemic. As a new emerging infectious disease can be rapidly transmitted to many different areas, there is a need to develop a coordinated response at European level, and specifically, novel therapies and diagnostics.

SARS‑DTV  Reducing the SARS threat with new therapies and diagnostic tests


SARS-DTV will form an integrated research consortium across Europe and Asia. The overall objective of the project will be to contribute to the development of candidate anti-SARS drugs, vaccines and diagnostic assays.

The project will:

  • Identify molecular targets for antiviral therapy
  • Develop an improved understanding of the immune response to SARS antibody and cell-mediated responses
  • Formulate systems for testing the inhibition of viral replication
  • Develop rapid diagnostic tests that will provide results in less than 30 minutes

Contribution to policy development:

  • The development of an improved surveillance capability in high-risk areas will provide an earlier indication of potential SARS epidemics
  • An enhanced capability to prevent and control SARS infections
  • An improved ability to undertake SARS directed research through an expanded pool of trained scientists

Project deliverables

  • Development of inhibitors of SARS virus replication – months 6 to 36 
  • Optimisation of monoclonal antibodies for use in diagnostic assays – month 12
  • Provision of data on the safety and efficacy of selected antiviral compounds in the mouse model – month 36
  • Development of a rapid immunochromatography assay for the detection of SARS virus
    – month 30
  • Final plan for using and disseminating knowledge – month 36


  • Organise and update a public domain webpage
  • Establish connections with other EU-funded SARS related networks
  • Develop connections with patient organisations and advocacy groups
  • Design a poster aimed at a non-specialist audience summarising the main activities
  • Produce a brochure summarising the main achievements
  • Undertake presentations at international meetings

Technical information

Project acronym:SARS-DTV
Project’s official full title: Complementary Research Action To Support SARS-Related Diagnostic Tests, Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccine Development
Research priority: 2.Providing health, security and opportunity to the people of Europe 
Specific webpage: 
Proposal/contract no: 511064
Start date: Not available
Kick off meeting: Not available
Completion date: Not available
European Commission scientific officer: Cornelius Schmaltz (

Name: Leiden University Medical Centre
Abbreviated name: LUMC
Address: Wassenaarseweg 72, 2333 AL Leiden
Country: The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)71 526 9111
Fax: +31 (0)71 527 6666


Name: Philipps-Universitat, Marburg
Abbreviated name: VIRO-MR
Country: Germany      

Name: University of Bristol
Abbreviated name: UNIBRIS
Country: UK  

Name: Crucell Holland B.V.
Abbreviated name: CRU
Country: The Netherlands      

Name: Tierarztliche Hochschule Hannover
Abbreviated name: TiHo
Country: Germany      

Name: University of Würzburg
Abbreviated name: UniWue
Country: Germany      

Name: Universités Aix-Marseille I and II
Abbreviated name: UNIV-MRS
Country: France         

Name: Rega Institute University of Louvain
Abbreviated name: KULeuven
Country: Belgium       

Name: Cantonal Hospital, St Gallen
Abbreviated name: KSSG
Country: Switzerland  

Name: Imperial College of London
Abbreviated name: Imperial
Country: UK  

Name: Coris-BioConcept
Abbreviated name: CORIS
Country: Belgium

Name: Inserm Transfert
Abbreviated name: Inserm-Transfert
Country: France

Name: University of Hong Kong
Abbreviated name: HKU
Country: China

Name: Kunming Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Abbreviated name: KIZ
Country: China

Name: Institute of Molecular Biology/Academia Sinica
Abbreviated name: ACASIN-IMB
Country: Taiwan, China