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Vet Res. 2007 Mar-Apr;38(2):153-80. Epub 2007 Jan 25.

Bovine respiratory syncytial virus infection.

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IVI-Animal Health, Lärkbacken, 740 20 Vänge, Uppsala, Sweden.


Bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) belongs to the pneumovirus genus within the family Paramyxoviridae and is a major cause of respiratory disease in young calves. BRSV is enveloped and contains a negative sense, single-stranded RNA genome encoding 11 proteins. The virus replicates predominantly in ciliated respiratory epithelial cells but also in type II pneumocytes. It appears to cause little or no cytopathology in ciliated epithelial cell cultures in vitro, suggesting that much of the pathology is due to the host's response to virus infection. RSV infection induces an array of pro-inflammatory chemokines and cytokines that recruit neutrophils, macrophages and lymphocytes to the respiratory tract resulting in respiratory disease. Although the mechanisms responsible for induction of these chemokines and cytokines are unclear, studies on the closely related human (H)RSV suggest that activation of NF-kappaB via TLR4 and TLR3 signalling pathways is involved. An understanding of the mechanisms by which BRSV is able to establish infection and induce an inflammatory response has been facilitated by advances in reverse genetics, which have enabled manipulation of the virus genome. These studies have demonstrated an important role for the non-structural proteins in anti-interferon activity, a role for a virokinin, released during proteolytic cleavage of the fusion protein, in the inflammatory response and a role for the SH and the secreted form of the G protein in establishing pulmonary infection. Knowledge gained from these studies has also provided the opportunity to develop safe, stable, live attenuated virus vaccine candidates.

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