Pathogenesis and vaccine development for respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenzavirus-3

Morphometric determination of the extent of inflammation in the lungs of RSV-infected lambs

Project Team: Sylvia van den Hurk

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human parainfluenza virus 3 (hPIV3) are significant causes of respiratory infections in young children and older adults.RSV and hPIV3 are leading causes of bronchiolitis and viral pneumonia in children, with up to 2% of infected children being hospitalized in their first year of life. In the United States, RSV may account for as much as 130,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths annually among individuals above the age of 65 years. Like RSV, hPIV3 infections occur early in life. Nearly half of one-year-old children and almost all six-year-old children in the USA have been infected with hPIV3. Vaccines against RSV and human parainfluenza viruses are not available but are needed.

Our team is developing a bivalent RSV and hPIV3 subunit vaccine to protect against these common respiratory infections. Preclinical trials in multiple animal models demonstrated the vaccine induces a strong immune response and is protective against infection. The team is currently working on optimizing the production of the vaccine antigen so it can be ready for production in our Vaccine Development Centre and used in human clinical trials.