Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have developed a new vaccine for inoculating cattle from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Since RSV strains between cattle and humans are closely
related, the development of this vaccine may lead to a breakthrough in
combating RSV in both species, according to an
NIAID news release.
Most of the respiratory diseases cattle contract are from RSV, resulting in significant costs to the cattle industry. When contracted by
humans, it can cause bronchiolitis
and pneumonia in young children, the elderly and those with a compromised
immune system. The virus is responsible for more than 250,000 deaths a year
worldwide, according to the release.
Currently, there is no licensed vaccine to prevent infection in humans, and
although vaccines for cattle use are available, they have been scrutinized for
their safety and effectiveness.
The recently developed vaccine contains a single, structurally engineered RSV
protein, which elicited high levels of neutralizing antibodies in mice. The
protein, called pre-F, is a stabilized version of the RSV fusion (F)
glycoprotein in its initial conformation, unlike current vaccines that utilizes
the same protein but in its final or post-F conformation.
In a study using three groups of five 3- to 6-week-old calves, NIAID
researchers immunized two of the groups through two separate injections, four
weeks apart from each other. One group received the new vaccine containing a pre-F
protein, one was given a post-F and the last group was injected with saline as the
The researchers then exposed all three groups to RSV. Results showed RSV had in
both the control and the calves vaccinated with the post-F protein. However,
the group of calves vaccinated with the pre-F protein had more than 100 times
of the number of antibodies than the post-F group, and four of the five calves
were successfully inoculated.
In light of these results, the NIAID has begun its Phase 1 human trials
using a similar build of the vaccine.
Investigational vaccine effective in preventing RSV in cattle
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