Bovine Respiratory Syncitial Virus (RSV), which is a RNA virus belonging to the Orthopneumovirus genus, is a major cause of respiratory disease in calves. The virus has an economic impact on beef and dairy producers, and young dairy and beef calves are more susceptible to severe disease. Now a study appearing in the journal npj Vaccines shows that a new vaccine provides protection against BRSV.
Researchers from National Institutes of Health and Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research in the USA, Università della Svizzera italiana in Switzerland, and The Pirbright Institute in the UK participated in the study.
The vaccine is based on a modified RSV protein that has the potential to induce strong antibody responses in experimental mice. Specifically, the protein is a stabilized version of the pre-fusion (pre-F) form of the RSV fusion (F) glycoprotein. F glycoprotein is known to aid viral entry and membrane fusion, which are crucial for viral infection.
The researchers investigated three groups of calves: the first group that received the pre-F protein, the second group that received the post-F protein, and the third group that received a placebo. All the calves were exposed to RSV several weeks after vaccination. Much higher levels of neutralizing antibodies were detected in calves receiving the pre-F protein, and 80% of these calves were protected from the RSV challenge. In contrast, RSV was present in all calves receiving either the post-F protein or placebo. Collectively, the results suggest that stabilized RSV F immunogens could protect calves from RSV.
Bovine RSV is very similar to human RSV, a leading cause of respiratory disease in infants. The RSV F glycoprotein is conserved between bovine RSV and human RSV and multiple F-directed antibodies can neutralize both human RSV and bovine RSV. The researchers hope to conduct experiments to test their vaccine in clinical trials in the future.
In humans, RSV usually causes the same symptoms as a bad cold. Each year RSV affects up to 64 million people and causes 160,000 deaths worldwide. Now palivizumab is the only preventive drug available for RSV. If there is an effective vaccine, if would save many people's lives. Cusabio is a manufacturer of proteins and antibodies. http://www.cusabio.com/