Austalia to develop Hendra antibody

The government of Queensland, Australia, has invested 300,000 for the development of an antibody for the Hendra virus.

University of Queensland scientists, the recipients of the funding, have claimed that they will complete the monoclonal antibody treatment in the next six months, according to

“It is not a vaccine, it is about if someone is exposed in a risk situation, then on the best medical advice, you can give them this,” Australian Health Minister Paul Lucas told Lucas added that the antibody development would be especially beneficial for those who have already been infected with Hendra.

Jeanette Young, Queensland's health chief minister, announced that the Australian version of the antibody would be more effective than the U.S. version. She also stressed that people keep a safe distance between themselves and horses that are possibly sick.

The university research team purchased the cell line from the U.S. to develop the antibody, which it has declared to be 99.995 percent pure.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, large bats called flying foxes are thought to be the natural reservoir for the Hendra virus. It has generally been transmitted to humans through the tissue and excretions of infected horses. There have only been three recorded cases of humans contracting the virus. Two of the three demonstrated a respiratory illness with severe flu-like symptoms.