Challenges and Opportunities for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines

Volume 372 of the series Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology pp 285-306


Subunit and Virus-Like Particle Vaccine Approaches for Respiratory Syncytial Virus

  • Trudy G. MorrisonAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Physiological Systems, University of Massachusetts Medical School Email author 
  • , Edward E. WalshAffiliated withDivision of Infectious Diseases, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Despite its impact on global health, there is no vaccine available for the prevention of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Failure to develop a licensed vaccine is not due to lack of effort, as numerous vaccine candidates have been characterized in preclinical and clinical studies spanning five decades. The vaccine candidates thus far explored can be generally divided into four categories: (1) whole inactivated virus, (2) replication competent, attenuated virus including recombinant viruses, (3) gene-based vectors, and (4) subunit and particulate forms of RSV antigens. The first clinically tested RSV vaccine candidate was a formalin-inactivated purified virus preparation administered to infants and children in the late 1960s. Due to the disastrous outcome of these trials and results of animal models investigating the mechanisms involved, there have been no further studies with inactivated RSV vaccines. Rather, efforts have focused on development of other approaches. In this chapter, we review the history and status of purified proteins, peptides, virus-like particles, virosomes, and nanoparticles and discuss their future potential.