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Respiratory Syncytial Virus

  • Kenneth Mclntosh

Abstract

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was first isolated from a chimpanzee with common-cold-like illness.(151) Shortly thereafter, the virus was recovered from young children with severe lower respiratory tract disease in Baltimore.(22,28) Since its initial isolation from infants with respiratory disease 30 years ago, RSV has emerged as the major lower respiratory tract viral pathogen of infancy and early childhood throughout the world.(10,24,25,55,64,121,129,132,201,206) In all geographic areas it is now clear that RSV is the major cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in infants and young children. Respiratory syncytial virus presents a special challenge to the epidemiologist, since this virus exhibits a pattern of infection and disease unlike that of any of the other known respiratory tract viral pathogens. Unanswered are many pressing questions concerning the pathogenesis of serious life-threatening disease of the lower respiratory tract produced by this virus during early infancy. A safe, effective vaccine for prevention of serious pediatric RSV illness is not available at this time. Recent studies and those now in progress, however, offer hope that it should be possible to develop effective and widely available immunoprophylaxis for RSV bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

Keywords

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Lower Respiratory Tract Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection Respiratory Tract Disease Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Mclntosh
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Infectious Diseases, The Children’s Hospital, and Department of PediatricsHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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