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Viral Immunol. 2004;17(3):370-80.

Respiratory syncytial virus-induced immunoprotection and immunopathology.

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Columbus Children's Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Molecular Medicine, The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health, Columbus, Ohio, USA.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a member of the Paramyxoviridae family, is a major clinical problem causing yearly epidemics of severe lower airway disease in both infants and the elderly. Attempts at vaccination have been frustrated by both the poor immunogenicity of this virus, and the severe immunopathology observed in early vaccine trials. Primary infection generally occurs in infancy, with approximately 5% of infected infants requiring hospitalization. Equally problematic is the apparent link between severe RSV disease and the later development of allergy and asthma. While there is no evidence that natural infection promotes Th2 predominance, development of enhanced eosinophilic disease in children receiving inactivated virus administered with a commonly used adjuvant demonstrated how easily the balance between immune-mediated protection and immune-mediated pathology can be perturbed. In this review we have focused on studies carried out in the mouse model aimed at determining the correlates of RSV protection and explaining the mechanism of vaccine enhanced immunopathology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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