Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is a major cause of upper and lower respiratory tract illness in infants and young children worldwide. Despite its importance as a respiratory pathogen, there is currently no licensed vaccine for prophylaxis of HRSV infection. There are several hurdles complicating the development of a RSV vaccine: 1) incomplete immunity to natural RSV infection leading to frequent re-infection, 2) immature immune system and maternal antibodies of newborn infants who are the primary subject population, and 3) imbalanced Th2-biased immune responses to certain vaccine candidates leading to exacerbated pulmonary disease. After the failure of an initial trial featuring formalin-inactivated virus as a RSV vaccine, more careful and deliberate efforts have been made towards the development of safe and effective RSV vaccines without vaccine-enhanced disease. A wide array of RSV vaccine strategies is being developed, including live-attenuated viruses, protein subunit-based, and vectorbased candidates. Though licensed vaccines remain to be developed, our great efforts will lead us to reach the goal of attaining safe and effective RSV vaccines in the near future.
- Respiratory syncytial virus
- Vaccine strategy