Pulmonary Immunity and Immunopathology: Lessons From Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2008 Oct;7(8):1239-55. doi: 10.1586/14760584.7.8.1239.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of severe respiratory disease in infants and is an important source of morbidity and mortality in the elderly and immunocompromised. This review will discuss the humoral and cellular adaptive immune responses to RSV infection and how these responses are shaped in the immature immune system of the infant and the aged environment of the elderly. Furthermore, we will provide an overview of our current understanding of the role the various arms of the adaptive immune response play in mediating the delicate balance between the successful elimination of the virus from the host and the induction of immunopathology. Efficacious immunization against RSV remains a high priority within the field and we will highlight recent advances made in vaccine design.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibody Formation
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Infant
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / immunology*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / pathology*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / prevention & control
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines / immunology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / immunology*


  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines