Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Vaccine. 2013 Jan 2;31(2):306-12. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.11.006. Epub 2012 Nov 12.

The role of non-viral antigens in the cotton rat model of respiratory syncytial virus vaccine-enhanced disease.

Author information

  • 1Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


In the 1960s, infant immunization with a formalin-inactivated respiratory syncytial virus (FI-RSV) vaccine candidate caused enhanced respiratory disease (ERD) following natural RSV infection. Because of this tragedy, intensive effort has been made to understand the root causes of how the FI-RSV vaccine induced a pathogenic response to subsequent RSV infection in vaccinees. A well-established cotton rat model of FI-RSV vaccine-enhanced disease has been used by numerous researchers to study the mechanisms of ERD. Here, we have dissected the model and found it to have significant limitations for understanding FI-RSV ERD. This view is shaped by our finding that a major driver of lung pathology is cell-culture contaminants, although FI-RSV immunization and RSV challenge serve as co-factors to exacerbate disease. Specifically, non-viral products from the vaccine and challenge preparations that are devoid of RSV give rise to alveolitis, which is considered a hallmark of FI-RSV ERD in the cotton rat model. Although FI-RSV immunization and RSV challenge promote more severe alveolitis, they also drive stronger cellular immune responses to non-viral antigens. The severity of alveolitis is associated with T cells specific for non-viral antigens more than with T cells specific for RSV. These results highlight the limitations of the cotton rat ERD model and the need for an improved animal model to evaluate the safety of RSV vaccine candidates.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk