Genetic vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus provides protection without disease potentiation

Mol Ther. 2014 Jan;22(1):196-205. doi: 10.1038/mt.2013.142. Epub 2013 Jun 10.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of infectious lower respiratory disease in infants and the elderly. As there is no vaccine for RSV, we developed a genetic vaccine approach that induced protection of the entire respiratory tract from a single parenteral administration. The approach was based on adenovirus vectors derived from newly isolated nonhuman primate viruses with low seroprevalence. We show for the first time that a single intramuscular (IM) injection of the replication-deficient adenovirus vectors expressing the RSV fusion (F0) glycoprotein induced immune responses that protected both the lungs and noses of cotton rats and mice even at low doses and for several months postimmunization. The immune response included high titers of neutralizing antibody that were maintained ≥ 24 weeks and RSV-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. The vectors were as potently immunogenic as a human adenovirus 5 vector in these two key respiratory pathogen animal models. Importantly, there was minimal alveolitis and granulocytic infiltrates in the lung, and type 2 cytokines were not produced after RSV challenge even under conditions of partial protection. Overall, this genetic vaccine is highly effective without potentiating immunopathology, and the results support development of the vaccine candidate for human testing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lung / virology
  • Mice
  • Nose / immunology
  • Nose / virology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines / genetics*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines / immunology*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / genetics*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / immunology*
  • Sigmodontinae
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Vaccines, Synthetic


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Synthetic