National disease institute begins human RSV study

National disease institute begins human RSV study.
National disease institute begins human RSV study. | Courtesy of
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently began a new study to help them better understand the development of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections in adults.

The study will begin with exposing healthy adult volunteers to RSV, which features cold-like symptoms. This will help the scientists to see how the immune system responds to the infection. Then the researchers will be able to create and test future vaccines and antiviral against the virus.

“Challenge studies such as this are a unique way of enabling scientists to monitor, in a controlled setting, the natural history of a disease in exquisite detail, using the most powerful tools of molecular biology,” NIAID Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said. “By studying RSV infection in healthy adults, we hope to improve understanding of how this infection develops and determine the suitability of this particular strain of the virus for use in future RSV vaccine and treatment trials.”

The safety of the adults involved in the study remains a priority for the researchers.

“We do not anticipate that the healthy, carefully screened adult volunteers in this study will become severely sick from the RSV challenge virus because, in general, healthy adults are repeatedly exposed to RSV in their lives and either remain asymptomatic or develop a mild to moderate cold,” Lesia K. Dropulic, M.D., leader of the study from NIAID’s Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, said.

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National Institutes of Health

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