Source: Hipersynteza/Science Photo Library
Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is a major cause of respiratory tract infections in infants. High-risk children may receive prophylactic palivizumab therapy; however, no effective antiviral or anti-inflammatory treatment exists.
A vaccine against HRSV may now be on the horizon, following work by Bert Schepens and Xavier Saelens from Ghent University, Belgium, and team, published in EMBO Molecular Medicine
(online, 8 October 2014). They have developed a vaccine based on the extracellular domain of the Small Hydrophobic protein (SHe) of HRSV and found that it induced immune protection in mice and rats, acting via a mechanism that differs from the natural immune response.
“The SHe-based vaccine could be linked to other candidate vaccines directed against the larger envelope proteins of the virus, to double hit the virus,” the researchers suggest.
 Schepens B, Sedeyn K, Vande Ginste L et al. Protection and mechanism of action of a novel human respiratory syncytial virus vaccine candidate based on the extracellular domain of small hydrophobic protein. EMBO Molecular Medicine 2014. doi: 10.15252/emmm.201404005 (accessed 8 October 2014).