Translational sciences approach to RSV vaccine development

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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and the elderly. Despite its relatively low degree of antigenic variation, it causes frequent reinfection throughout life. Clinical manifestations of RSV disease and the immune response to infection differ in infants and the elderly, suggesting that vaccines designed to protect these two populations may require different attributes. Here, the authors describe the translational approach of utilizing data from epidemiology studies performed in these populations, the use of RSV diagnostics in clinical practice, lessons learned from previous vaccine clinical trials and the success of palivizumab in prevention of RSV disease in premature and high-risk infants to aid the development of safe and effective RSV vaccines.

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