Role of maternal antibody in pneumonia and bronchiolitis due to respiratory syncytial virus

J Infect Dis. 1976 Sep;134(3):211-7. doi: 10.1093/infdis/134.3.211.


Fifteen infants with pneumonia caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and 19 infants with bronchiolitis caused by RSV were studied for the influence of homologous, circulating neutralizing antibody on the severity of their illness. All infants were under nine months of age. Although maternal neutralizing antibody did not prevent infection with RSV and illness, the severity of pneumonia caused by RSV was inversely related to the level of neutralizing antibody. The severity of bronchiolitis caused by RSV was unrelated to maternal antibody levels. Chest roentgenograms showed pneumonia to be slightly more severe than bronchiolitis. Neither the severity of illness nor the presence of maternal neutralizing antibody was related to the development of complement-fixing antibody.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies
  • Antibodies, Viral*
  • Bronchiolitis, Viral / immunology*
  • Bronchiolitis, Viral / pathology
  • Complement Fixation Tests
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pneumonia, Viral / immunology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / immunology*


  • Antibodies
  • Antibodies, Viral