A new study has identified a subset of viral products responsible for producing a strong immune response against RSV in those infected.
In this new work, the researchers found that mice infected with a modified RSV that lacked DVGs experienced worse disease symptoms, including weight loss and lung tissue inflammation, and had higher levels of virus in their lungs than mice infected with RSV that had high levels of DVGs. Mice infected with the modified RSV also had lower expression levels of anti-viral genes, such as interferon, than mice infected with the DVG-containing RSV.
Next the researchers looked at a human cell line, finding that, as in the mice, RSV with higher levels of DVGs potently triggered the expression of interferon genes.
To see if DVGs were present in humans with RSV infections, the scientists analyzed the respiratory secretions collected from 41 children who had confirmed diagnoses of RSV at CHOP. They detected DVGs in nearly half of the patients and found that these same samples also contained higher levels of anti-viral genes than those without detectable levels of DVGs.