Review of palivizumab in the prophylaxis of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in high-risk infants
Asunción Mejías, Octavio Ramilo
Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA
Abstract: In respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) disease the balance between the innate and adaptive immune responses determines the expression of the pathological phenotype favoring the development of acute bronchiolitis, and in certain children the development of recurrent wheezing. While humoral antibody plays a major role in protection against disease, T-cell immunity targeted to viral proteins appears to terminate viral infection. At the moment, treatment modalities for acute RSV infection do not effectively modify the course of the disease, and RSV vaccine development has shown conflicting results. To date, however, passive immunoprophylaxis with monoclonal antibodies is the only strategy that has demonstrated consistent efficacy in reducing RSV hospitalizations in high-risk children. The potential benefit of new strategies for prevention and treatment of RSV infections should be evaluated with respect to both the acute infection as well as the chronic respiratory manifestations induced by RSV.
Keywords: respiratory syncytial virus, palivizumab, infants
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