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Prevention of respiratory syncytial virus infections.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Revista do Hospital das Clínicas
Publication Date
Volume
56
Issue
3
Pages
79–90
Identifiers
PMID: 11514908
Source
Medline

Abstract

Respiratory syncytial virus is the most important cause of viral lower respiratory illness in infants and children worldwide. By the age of 2 years, nearly every child has become infected with respiratory syncytial virus and re-infections are common throughout life. Most infections are mild and can be managed at home, but this virus causes serious diseases in preterm children, especially those with bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Respiratory syncytial virus has also been recognized as an important pathogen in people with immunossupressive and other underlying medical problems and institutionalizated elderly, causing thousands of hospitalizations and deaths every year. The burden of these infections makes the development of vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus highly desirable, but the insuccess of a respiratory syncytial virus formalin-inactivated vaccine hampered the progress in this field. To date, there is no vaccine available for preventing respiratory syncytial virus infections, however, in the last years, there has been much progress in the understanding of immunology and immunopathologic mechanisms of respiratory syncytial virus diseases, which has allowed the development of new strategies for passive and active prophylaxis. In this article, the author presents a review about novel approaches to the prevention of respiratory syncytial virus infections, such as: passive immunization with human polyclonal intravenous immune globulin and humanized monoclonal antibodies (both already licensed for use in premature infants and children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia), and many different vaccines that are potential candidates for active immunization against respiratory syncytial virus.

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