Hong Kong doctors have warned the public not to get too excited about findings by US researchers who say they have discovered a promising strategy for stopping future Sars outbreaks. The comments came after a research team from the University of Massachusetts announced the new approach, using injected antibodies to disarm the virus. They said it had stopped outbreaks of other illnesses, including chicken pox and respiratory syncytial virus, the most common cause of pneumonia in infants. The US team's study was reported in The Boston Globe newspaper. The team admitted its findings were preliminary. Brian Tomlinson, medicine and therapeutics professor at Chinese University, said: 'This thing is still preliminary. It is probably quite some way down the line before this antibody can be developed and used in a clinical setting. 'The antibody is not a treatment that immunises people, it is not a vaccine. The research here is about passive immunity - a treatment that neutralises the virus when you get it. However, it would not have a long-lasting effect and it would not prevent people getting the disease next time you are exposed to the virus. So it is not the most efficient way to deal with Sars.' He also warned people might develop an allergic reaction if they were repeatedly given antibodies. His view was shared by Kenneth Tsang Wah-tak, professor of respiratory and clinical care medicine at the University of Hong Kong. 'Using antibody is a very attractive theory. The use of antibody to neutralise viral infections such as chicken pox and Hepatitis A have been tried and found to be useful. However, these illnesses are much milder illnesses compared to Sars and they do not behave like Sars,' Dr Tsang said. He also worried that because Sars was a serious inflammatory infection, injecting antibody would increase the risk of inflammation.