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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2002 Jul;21(7):685-96.

Current concepts on active immunization against respiratory syncytial virus for infants and young children.

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Wilhelmina Children's Hospital/University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most important causative agent of viral respiratory tract infections in infants and young children. Passive immunization against RSV became available recently, but this does not apply to an effective vaccine as a result of dramatic adverse results of immunization with a RSV candidate vaccine in the 1960s and the lack of full knowledge of the immune response induced by RSV. Nonetheless intensive research during the past two decades has resulted in several interesting candidate vaccines, of which some have gone through testing in humans. These include the subunit vaccines PFP-1, PFP-2, BBG2Na and cold-passaged/temperature-sensitive mutants. The development of candidate vaccines against RSV is discussed. Because of questions, uncertainties and difficulties with the development of effective vaccines against RSV, it will probably be at least another 5 to 10 years before routine immunization against RSV becomes available.

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