1887

Abstract

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) remains a leading cause of infant mortality worldwide and exhaustive international efforts are underway to develop a vaccine. However, vaccine development has been hindered by a legacy of vaccine-enhanced disease, poor viral immunogenicity in infants, and genetic and physical instabilities. Natural infection with RSV does not prime for enhanced disease encouraging development of live-attenuated RSV vaccines for infants; however, physical instabilities of RSV may limit vaccine development. The role of RSV strain-specific differences on viral physical stability remains unclear. We have previously demonstrated that the RSV fusion (F) surface glycoprotein is responsible for mediating significant differences in thermostability between strains A2 and A2-line19F. In this study, we performed a more comprehensive analysis to characterize the replication and physical stability of recombinant RSV A and B strains that differed only in viral attachment (G) and/or F surface glycoprotein expression. We observed significant differences in thermal stability, syncytia size, pre-fusion F incorporation and viral growth kinetics in vitro, but limited variations to pH and freeze–thaw inactivation among several tested strains. Consistent with earlier studies, A2-line19F showed significantly enhanced thermal stability over A2, but also restricted growth kinetics in both HEp2 and Vero cells. As expected, no significant differences in susceptibility to UV inactivation were observed. These studies provide the first analysis of the physical stability of multiple strains of RSV, establish a key virus strain associated with enhanced thermal stability compared to conventional lab strain A2, and further support the pivotal role RSV F plays in virus stability.

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2019-06-11
2019-08-22
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