Respiratory syncytial virus interaction with human airway epithelium

Trends Microbiol. 2013 May;21(5):238-44. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2013.02.004. Epub 2013 Mar 22.


Although respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major human respiratory pathogen, our knowledge of how it causes disease in humans is limited. Airway epithelial cells are the primary targets of RSV infection in vivo, so the generation and exploitation of RSV infection models based on morphologically and physiologically authentic well-differentiated primary human airway epithelial cells cultured at an air-liquid interface (WD-PAECs) provide timely developments that will help to bridge this gap. Here we review the interaction of RSV with WD-PAEC cultures, the authenticity of the RSV-WD-PAEC models relative to RSV infection of human airway epithelium in vivo, and future directions for their exploitation in our quest to understand RSV pathogenesis in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epithelial Cells / virology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Respiratory Mucosa / cytology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / virology*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / virology*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / genetics
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / physiology*