Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most important viral cause of severe respiratory illness in young children and lacks a vaccine. RSV cold-passage/stabilized 2 (RSVcps2) is a modification of a previously evaluated vaccine candidate in which 2 major attenuating mutations have been stabilized against deattenuation.
Methods: RSV-seronegative 6-24-month-old children received an intranasal dose of 105.3 plaque-forming units (PFU) of RSVcps2 (n = 34) or placebo (n = 16) (International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials protocol P1114 and companion protocol CIR285). RSV serum neutralizing antibody titers before and 56 days after vaccination, vaccine virus infectivity (defined as vaccine virus shedding detectable in nasal wash and/or a ≥4-fold rise in serum antibodies), reactogenicity, and genetic stability were assessed. During the following RSV transmission season, participants were monitored for respiratory illness, with serum antibody titers measured before and after the season.
Results: A total of 85% of vaccinees were infected with RSVcps2 (median peak titer, 0.5 log10 PFU/mL by culture and 2.9 log10 copies/mL by polymerase chain reaction analysis); 77% shed vaccine virus, and 59% developed a ≥4-fold rise in RSV-serum neutralizing antibody titers. Respiratory tract and/or febrile illness occurred at the same rate (50%) in the vaccine and placebo groups. Deattenuation was not detected at either of 2 stabilized mutation sites.
Conclusions: RSVcps2 was well tolerated and moderately immunogenic and had increased genetic stability in 6-24-month-old RSV-seronegative children.