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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2019 Feb 5. doi: 10.1038/s41579-019-0149-x. [Epub ahead of print]

Respiratory syncytial virus entry and how to block it.

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Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH, USA.
Department of Molecular Biosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of lower respiratory tract disease in young children and elderly people. Although the virus was isolated in 1955, an effective RSV vaccine has not been developed, and the only licensed intervention is passive immunoprophylaxis of high-risk infants with a humanized monoclonal antibody. During the past 5 years, however, there has been substantial progress in our understanding of the structure and function of the RSV glycoproteins and their interactions with host cell factors that mediate entry. This period has coincided with renewed interest in developing effective interventions, including the isolation of potent monoclonal antibodies and small molecules and the design of novel vaccine candidates. In this Review, we summarize the recent findings that have begun to elucidate RSV entry mechanisms, describe progress on the development of new interventions and conclude with a perspective on gaps in our knowledge that require further investigation.


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