Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of upper and lower respiratory tract infections in children and adults. It is the most common cause of bronchiolitis in infants under a year of age and results in up to 500,000 GP attendances, 30,000 hospitalisations and 900 paediatric intensive care unit admissions per year in children under 5 years of age in the UK. It also causes significant morbidity and mortality on older adults. There is currently no widely available antiviral treatment or vaccine. The monoclonal antibody (mAb) palivizumab is available as prophylaxis but due to its high cost is only given to the highest risk infants; those born extremely prematurely or with significant congenital heart disease. However, many novel antiviral treatments, vaccines and mAbs are in development.
At the PIDRG and SGVI, we have a special interest in studying RSV infection. Below are key studies we have previously undertaken or have ongoing:
- Respiratory syncytial virus consortium in Europe (RESCEU) infant case-control study
This European Union Innovative Medicines Initiative (EU IMI) funded observational study carried out within the RESCEU consortium investigated risk factors and biomarkers for the development of severe RSV infection in infants across Europe.
- Novavax maternal RSV vaccine
SGVI recruited pregnant women to this phase 3 trial of an RSV vaccine in pregnant women. It was one of the first studies to show proof of concept in terms of vaccinating pregnant women to protect the infant against (severe) RSV infection.
- IBERIS study
This was an observational and interventional study sponsored by Janssen investigating the use of a mobile phone app to identify infants with clinical signs and symptoms of RSV infection and a novel antiviral medication to treat those infants with proven infection.
- MELODY and MEDLEY
These AstraZeneca sponsored studies are investigating a long acting (one dose per RSV season) mAb to prevent RSV infection in preterm and term born infants.
- ASSERVO study
The SGVI is the lead UK site for this study sponsored by MSD. It is investigating the use of another long acting mAb to prevent RSV infection in young infants. Recruitment will begin in September 2021.