Several viruses may cause more or less severe acute respiratory infections in man, some of which are followed by systemic infection. Only for influenza and measles are licensed vaccines available at present. The protection induced by influenza vaccines, which are based on inactivated whole virus or viral subunits, depends largely on the matching of vaccine strain and circulating virus. Measles vaccines, which are based on attenuated live virus, have been quite effective in controlling the disease in vaccinated populations in the industrialized world. In developing countries, severe measles infections occur in infants from six to nine months of age, which necessitates the vaccination of children of less than six months. At that time maternal antibodies, that may interfere with the induction of protection, may still be present. Therefore, instead of using the parenteral route, the possibility to use the mucosal route of primary immunization is also investigated for vaccination with attenuated live measles vaccines. The use of inactivated measles vaccines has resulted in a state of immunity which upon exposure to the virus may induce an atypical measles syndrome including a severe pneumonia. Measles virus proteins presented in an iscom matrix have recently been shown to induce functional B and T cell responses to both the surface glycoproteins of the virus. These responses could also be induced in the presence of virus neutralizing antibodies and they proved to be protective in several animal model systems. Many of the problems that have been encountered in the development of measles vaccines, proved to be similar in the development of vaccines against other paramyxoviruses causing acute respiratory infections in man, including respiratory syncytial virus. Parenteral application of inactivated and attenuated live vaccines against these paramyxoviruses has generally had little success. Topical application of attenuated live vaccines has been more successful, and also the use of vaccinia recombinant viruses expressing foreign paramyxoviral glycoproteins has shown promising results in laboratory animals. Live vaccines based on adenovirus types 4 and 7 in oral enteric-coated vaccines, which lead to virus replication in the intestines but not in the respiratory tract have been included in military vaccination programs. The possibility to replace e.g. the E3 region with foreign DNA makes adenoviruses also suitable as cloning vectors for proteins of other respiratory viruses. Although live attenuated vaccines against some of the serotypes of rhinoviruses have shown promising results, the generation of a multivalent vaccine against this epidemiologically most significant cause of acute respiratory infections will be almost impossible, due to the multiplicity of serotypes involved.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Osterhaus, A., & de Vries, P. (1992). Vaccination against acute respiratory virus infections and measles in man. Immunobiology, 184, 180–192. Retrieved from