Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of severe lower respiratory tract infection, such as bronchiolitis, bronchitis, or pneumonia, in both infants and the elderly. Despite the global burden of diseases attributable to RSV infection, no clinically approved vaccine is available, and a humanized monoclonal antibody for prophylaxis is not readily affordable in developing countries. There are several hurdles to the successful development of RSV vaccines: immune-vulnerable target populations such as premature infants, pregnant women, and immunocompromised people; safety concerns associated with vaccine-enhanced diseases; repeated infection; and waning memory. To develop successful strategies for the prevention of RSV infection, it is necessary to understand the protective and pathologic roles of host immune responses to RSV infection. In this review, we will summarize the positive and negative relationship between RSV infection and host immunity and discuss strategies for the development of the first successful RSV vaccine.
- Respiratory syncytial viruses
- Vaccine-enhanced diseases