Respiratory syncytial virus: Targeting the G protein provides a new approach for an old problem

Ralph A. Tripp, Ultan F. Power, Peter J.M. Openshaw, Lawrence M. Kauvar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) annually affecting > 2 million children in the United States < 5 years old. In the elderly ( > 65 years old), RSV results in ~ 175,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States with a worldwide incidence of ~34 million. There is no approved RSV vaccine, and treatments are limited. Recently, a phase 3 trial in the elderly using a recombinant RSV F protein vaccine failed to meet its efficacy objectives, namely, prevention of moderate-to-severe RSV-associated LRTI and reduced incidence of acute respiratory disease. Moreover, a recent phase 3 trial evaluating suptavumab (REGN2222), an antibody to RSV F protein, did not meet its primary endpoint of preventing medically attended RSV infections in preterm infants. Despite these setbacks, numerous efforts targeting the RSV F protein with vaccines, antibodies, and small molecules continue based on the commercial success of a monoclonal antibody (MAb) against the RSV F protein (palivizumab). As the understanding of RSV biology has improved, the other major coat protein, the RSV G protein, has reemerged as an alternative target reflecting progress in understanding its roles in infecting bronchial epithelial cells and in altering the host immune response. In mouse models, a high-affinity, strain-independent human MAb to the RSV G protein has shown potent direct antiviral activity combined with the alleviation of virus-induced immune system effects that contribute to disease pathology. This MAb, being prepared for clinical trials, provides a qualitatively new approach to managing RSV for populations not eligible for prophylaxis with palivizumab.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01302-17
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Respiratory syncytial virus: Targeting the G protein provides a new approach for an old problem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this