Recombinant RSV and expression plasmid, strain A2-line19F, with improved characteristics for use in vaccine and drug development.
- Recombinant virus was shown to have improved fusion activity compared to native line19F virus.
- Recombinant virus shown to induce greater viral load pathology in vivo with mice.
RSV is a ubiquitous virus that is the most common cause for respiratory illness in infants and young children worldwide, causing almost 160,000 deaths each year. Nearly all children within the US have been infected with RSV before the age of two, leading to 75,000-125,000 hospitalizations annually. Additionally, severe infection rates are increasing in the elderly as well as other at-risk adult populations. Treatment options for severe cases are limited, and no vaccine has yet been developed. Therefore, there is a significant need for tools to aid in the development of new treatments or prophylactics for RSV.
A recombinant respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was generated from the A2-line19F strain. This strain contains two point mutations at residues 357 and 371 in the F protein. A protein expression plasmid encoding for the line19F protein with the same point mutations is also available. The recombinant virus was shown to have higher fusion activity, establish higher viral loads in mice, and induce greater pathology in mice than the native line19F virus (Hotard et al. J. Virol. 2015 89: 512). The virus shows both enhanced pulmonary pathology as well as weight loss in infected mice, making it ideal for early-stage drug screening and vaccine challenge experiments.
Recombinant virus and protein plasmid have been generated and have been used extensively in laboratory research programs for vaccine development.