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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes substantial lower respiratory tract disease in children and at-risk adults. Though there are no effective anti-viral drugs for acute disease or licensed vaccines for RSV, palivizumab prophylaxis is available for some high risk infants. To support anti-viral and vaccine development efforts, we developed an RSV virus-like particle (VLP) platform to explore the role RSV F and G protein interactions in disease pathogenesis. Since VLPs are immunogenic and a proven platform for licensed human vaccines, we also considered these VLPs as potential vaccine candidates. We developed two RSV VLP platforms, M+P and M+M2-1 that had F and G, F and a G peptide, or a truncated F and G on their surface. Immunoblots of sucrose gradient purified particles showed co-expression of M, G, and F with both VLP platforms. Electron microscopy imaging and immunogold labeling confirmed VLP-like structures with surface exposed projections consistent with F and G proteins. In mice, the VLPs induced both anti-F and -G protein antibodies and, on challenge, reduced lung viral titer and inflammation. These data show that these RSV VLP platforms provide a tool to study the structure of F and G and their interactions and flexible platforms to develop VLP vaccines in which all components contribute to RSV-specific immune responses.


Binh Ha, Jie E Yang, Xuemin Chen, Samadhan J Jadhao, Elizabeth R Wright, Larry J Anderson. Two RSV Platforms for G, F, or G+F Proteins VLPs. Viruses. 2020 Aug 19;12(9)

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PMID: 32824936

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