Publications

Human respiratory syncytial virus infection in the pre-clinical calf model

Cortjens, B.; Jong, R. de; Bonsing, J.G.; Woensel, J.B.M. van; Bem, R.A.; Antonis, A.F.G.

Summary

Human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) is the most important respiratory pathogen in young children worldwide. Experimental modelling of hRSV disease by bovine RSV (bRSV) infection in calves provides an important tool for developing new strategies for prevention and treatment. Depending on the scientific hypothesis under investigation, this cognate host-virus model might have the disadvantage of using a highly related but not genetically identical virus. In this study, we aim to describe viral kinetics and (clinical) disease characteristics in calves inoculated with hRSV. Our results show that hRSV infects the upper and, to a lesser extent, the lower respiratory tract of calves. Infection causes upper airway clinical disease symptoms and neutrophilic infiltration of the lower airways. We conclude that a hRSV model in calves may aid future research involving distinct scientific questions related to hRSV disease in children.