Respiratory syncytial virus: experimental structure-based vaccine candidate shows promise in Phase I trial


A respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine, developed using non-traditional methods, has shown promising results in a Phase I human clinical trial. Published in Science, the University of Texas at Austin (TX, USA) trial highlights the promising potency of the RSV vaccine candidate whereby a single dose elicited a surge of lasting RSV-neutralizing antibodies in response.

The novel vaccine candidate against RSV, named DS-Cav1, was developed by a collaborative cohort of researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Vaccine Research Center (VRC; MD, USA). An experimental structure-based vaccine design approach was utilized after failure in finding an effective RSV vaccine with traditional methods.

The F protein of RSV is well known to instigate the human immune response, generating antibodies. Two different immune responses can be elicited dependent on which specific conformation the F protein takes upon encountering the immune system. One of these types triggers a more potent antibody response than the other, for both production rate and effectivity.

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