Research ArticleVACCINES

A respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) F protein nanoparticle vaccine focuses antibody responses to a conserved neutralization domain

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Science Immunology  01 May 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 47, eaba6466
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aba6466

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Sharpening the focus of anti-RSV antibodies

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a paramyxovirus that infects lung epithelial cells causing potentially severe infections in young children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. Although an effective RSV vaccine remains a major unmet medical need, previous work has identified a stabilized pre-F conformation of the RSV fusion (F) protein as a preferred immunogen for eliciting neutralizing antibodies. Swanson et al. constructed a multimeric vaccine featuring a central ferritin core connected to eight trimeric pre-F spikes bearing engineered glycans that mask poorly neutralizing epitopes. This self-assembling nanoparticle vaccine induced stronger neutralizing antibody responses than pre-F trimers in both mice and nonhuman primates. These studies pave the way toward initiating clinical trials to test this vaccine’s ability to protect vulnerable human populations from RSV-associated disease.

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