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Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2013;372:211-31. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-38919-1_11.

Consequences of immature and senescent immune responses for infection with respiratory syncytial virus.

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Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Infants in the first 6 months of life and older adults (>65 years of age) are disproportionately burdened with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-associated morbidity and mortality. While other factors play a role in the risk these groups assume, shortcomings of the immune response make a substantial contribution to the predisposition to severe disease. Ineffectual antibody production with misdirected cytokine responses and excess inflammation in the airways are common to both groups. However, the mechanisms underlying these immune responses differ between infants and older adults and need to be better understood. Preventative approaches to decreasing the burden of disease are preferable to therapeutic intervention and effective vaccination strategies will need to target the strengths of the immune responses in these populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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