Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 163–173 | Cite as

The Immune Response to Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection: Friend or Foe?



The immune response to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection has fascinated and frustrated investigators for decades. After adverse responses to early attempts at vaccination, it became popularly held that disease following infection was related to overly aggressive immune responses. However, recent data illustrate that severe forms of disease are related to inadequate, rather than hyperresponsive, adaptive immune reactions. Thus, recovery from primary (and perhaps later) RSV infection is dependent on the quality of innate immune responses. These findings should have enormous significance to the development of vaccines and antiviral compounds.


Respiratory syncytial virus infection Immune response Bronchiolitis Asthma Infants 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Biomedical SciencesThe State University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Division of Infectious DiseasesWomen & Children’s Hospital of BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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