Local dornase alfa treatment reduces NETs-induced airway obstruction during severe RSV infection

Cortjens, Bart; Jong, Rineke de; Bonsing, Judith G.; Woensel, Job B.M. Van; Antonis, Adriaan F.G.; Bem, Reinout A.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is characterised by airway obstruction with mucus plugs, containing DNA networks in the form of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). We investigated the effect of dornase alfa on histopathological NETs-induced airway obstruction and viral load in an age-relevant calf model of severe bovine RSV disease. As compared with the control animals, dornase alfa treatment resulted in a strong reduction of NETs-induced airway obstruction. Viral load in the lower respiratory tract was not different between the two groups. We conclude that NETs form a relevant target for treatment of airway obstruction in severe RSV disease.