Respiratory syncytial virus vaccine development

Published on June 24, 2015   43 min

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0:00
I'm Peter Openshaw. I'm the Professor of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College London. And I've been working on Respiratory Syncytial Virus for more years than I care to remember, actually, since about 1985. And what I'm going to do today is to summarize some of the most important background about RSV, talk a bit about animal models for vaccine development, and then the current vaccines that are under development, and where I think the vaccine field is going in the future.
0:31
So first a bit about Respiratory Syncytial Virus. It was first named the Chimpanzee Coryza Agent by a group that had been studying chimps and found that some of the chimp handlers had common colds and that the chimps had common colds, too. It was subsequently renamed, Respiratory Syncytial Virus by Bob Chanock, but I think that the name is a very regrettable one. I think that if instead it had been called, the "Savage Agent," the whole history of RSV research would have been changed. I've been trying to get the name changed to the Savage Agent, but nobody seems to take this very seriously.
1:10
Respiratory Syncytial Virus, quite extraordinarily a successful virus. It's distributed worldwide. In temperate climates, it tends to undergo winter epidemics. So every winter we know there's going to be a big outbreak of RSV disease. And hugely successful in that it manages to infect about 65% of children the first year of life. By the third year, it up to about 96%. So virtually everyone gets infected, and everyone gets reinfected, as well. So if you take adult volunteers, you put RSV into the nose, you tend to again get a common cold. So that's atypical. Or most viruses, if you infect once and then try and infect again, you won't be successful. So it's a very intriguing virus immunologically. It's usually a mild disease, but because it infects so many children, it's actually a major cause of hospital admissions. So in many parts of world, it's the commonest single cause of hospitalization during infancy. And, as I said, it causes about 70% of cases of bronchiolitis. So in us, it just causes coughs and colds, but it's obviously a danger to younger children, in that we can transmit that cough or cold to them. There's also an association with wheezing, which I'll talk a little bit more about later.
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Respiratory syncytial virus vaccine development

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