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Viral Immunol. 2005;18(2):255-66.

Recombinant Sendai virus as a novel vaccine candidate for respiratory syncytial virus.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is among the most important and serious pediatric respiratory diseases, and yet after more than four decades of research an effective vaccine is still unavailable. This review examines the role of the immune response in reducing disease severity; considers the history of RSV vaccine development; and advocates the potential utility of Sendai virus (a murine paramyxovirus) as a xenogenic vaccine vector for the delivery of RSV antigens. The immunogenicity and protective efficacy of RSV-recombinant Sendai virus vectors constructed using reverse genetics is examined. RSV-recombinant Sendai virus is easy to grow (i.e., achieves extremely high titers in eggs), is easy to administer (intranasal drops), and elicits both B- and T-cell responses leading to protection from RSV challenge in a small-animal model. Unmodified Sendai virus is currently being studied in clinical trials as a vaccine for its closely related human cognate (human parainfluenza virus type 1). Sendai virus may prove an enormously valuable vaccine platform, permitting the delivery of recombinants targeting important pediatric respiratory pathogens, RSV chief among them.

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