Humoral and cellular immunity to RSV in infants, children and adults.

Christopher Green, Charles Sande, Catherine de Lara, Amber Thompson, Laura Silva-Reyes, Federica Napolitano, Antonio Pierantoni, Stefania Capone, Alessandra Vitelli, Paul Klenerman, Andrew Pollard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


ackground: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes respiratory disease throughout life. Here we report differences in naturally acquired immunity with age and presumed exposure.
Methods: A longitudinal, non-interventional, observational study was performed in healthy adults (20 paediatric healthcare workers and 10 non-healthcare workers), children (10 aged 3–6 years) and infants (5 aged 2–4 months and 20 aged 6–12 months). Blood samples were analysed for RSV-neutralising anti- body titre, F/Ga/Gb-specific antibody titres, F-specific IgG/IgA memory B-cell frequencies and T-cell pro- duction of IFNc, IL-4, IL-13 and IL-17.
Results: Serum G-specific antibody titres were significantly lower in infants and children than adults. However, serum titres of F-specific and RSV-neutralising antibody and IFNc-producing T-cell frequencies were low or absent in the infants, but comparable between children and adults. Interestingly, F-specific memory IgA B-cells could not be detected in paediatric samples and in samples from non-healthcare workers, but recordable IgA memory B-cells were found in 9/18 paediatric healthcare workers and 2/8 non-healthcare workers at the end of the RSV season. These responses waned 4–6 months later. By con- trast, F-specific IgG memory B-cells were detectable in samples from all adults without significant vari- ation across time points. T-cells producing IL-4, IL-13 and IL-17 responses were not detectable in peripheral blood from a subset of volunteers.
Conclusions: Repeated RSV exposure in early life generates immune responses that are inversely related to frequency of severe disease. Induction of F-specific antibody and cellular immune responses through infant vaccination might help to accelerate the development of protective immune responses at an early age.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


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