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      Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection: Immune Response, Immunopathogenesis, and Treatment

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      Clinical Microbiology Reviews
      American Society for Microbiology

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          Abstract

          Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the single most important cause of lower respiratory tract infection during infancy and early childhood. Once RSV infection is established, the host immune response includes the production of virus-neutralizing antibodies and T-cell-specific immunity. The humoral immune response normally results in the development of anti-RSV neutralizing-antibody titers, but these are often suboptimal during an infant’s initial infection. Even when the production of RSV neutralizing antibody following RSV infection is robust, humoral immunity wanes over time. Reinfection during subsequent seasons is common. The cellular immune response to RSV infection is also important for the clearance of virus. This immune response, vital for host defense against RSV, is also implicated in the immunopathogenesis of severe lower respiratory tract RSV bronchiolitis. Many details of the immunology and immunopathologic mechanisms of RSV disease known at present have been learned from rodent models of RSV disease and are discussed in some detail. In addition, the roles of immunoglobulin E, histamine, and eosinophils in the immunopathogenesis of RSV disease are considered. Although the treatment of RSV bronchiolitis is primarily supportive, the role of ribavirin is briefly discussed. Novel approaches to the development of new antiviral drugs with promising anti-RSV activity in vitro are also described.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Clinical Microbiology Reviews
          Clin. Microbiol. Rev.
          American Society for Microbiology
          0893-8512
          1098-6618
          April 01 1999
          April 01 1999
          April 01 1999
          April 01 1999
          : 12
          : 2
          : 298-309
          Article
          10.1128/CMR.12.2.298
          88919
          10194461
          74baf85e-7781-4975-aacc-779f268973d5
          © 1999
          History

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