Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is the most prevalent cause of severe respiratory disease in infants. It also causes considerable morbidity in older children and adults with underlying risk factors. RSV vaccine development has been complicated by the need to administer the vaccine at a very young age and by enhanced disease observed after vaccination with formalin inactivated RSV. For infants live attenuated vaccines, which may not be expected to predispose for vaccine induced enhanced pathology, hold the greatest promise. However, the balance between attenuation and immunogenicity appears to be delicate. For older risk groups, results with subunit vaccines are most promising.

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Department of Virology

Brandenburg, A.H, Neijens, H.J, & Osterhaus, A.D.M.E. (2001). Pathogenesis of RSV lower respiratory tract infection: Implications for vaccine development. Vaccine, 19(20-22), 2769–2782. doi:10.1016/S0264-410X(00)00536-3