Respiratory syncytial virus vaccines

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Respiratory, syncytial virus (RSV) is the most important cause of viral lower respiratory tract illness (LRI) in infants and children worldwide and causes significant LRI in the elderly and in immunocompromised patients. The goal of RSV vaccination is to prevent serious RSV-associated LRI. There are several obstacles to the development of successful RSV vaccines, including the need to immunize very young infants, who may respond inadequately to vaccination; the existence of two antigenically distinct RSV groups, A and B; and the history of disease enhancement following administration of a formalin-inactivated vaccine. It is likely that more than one type of vaccine will be needed to prevent RSV LRI in the various populations at risk. Although vector delivery systems, synthetic peptide, and immune-stimulating complex vaccines have been evaluated in animal models, only the purified F protein (PFP) subunit vaccines and live attenuated vaccines have been evaluated in recent clinical trials. PFP-2 appears to be a promising vaccine for the elderly, and for RSV-seropositive children with underlying pulmonary disease, whereas live cold-passaged (cp), temperature-sensitive (ts) RSV vaccines (denoted cpts vaccines) would most probably be useful in young infants. The availability of cDNA technology should allow further refinement of existing live attenuated cpts candidate vaccines to produce engineered vaccines that are satisfactorily attenuated, immunogenic, and phenotypically stable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-439
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Microbiology Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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