How is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) pneumonia prevented?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) immunoglobulin is a pooled product containing immunoglobulin G antibodies against RSV. When administered intravenously to patients at high risk, fewer episodes of severe pneumonia requiring hospitalization have occurred.

An alternative to RSV immunoglobulin is palivizumab (Synagis), which is an intramuscularly administered humanized monoclonal antibody preparation. Prophylaxis with this agent results in a 55% reduction in hospitalization secondary to RSV infection in high-risk pediatric patients.

Vaccines are under development, including subunit vaccines directed against two major surface glycoproteins (F, G proteins), a polypeptide vaccine (BBG2Na), and live-attenuated vaccines, the latter of which have been promising in adults.

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