Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major worldwide cause of morbidity and mortality in children under five years of age. Evidence-based management guidelines suggest that there is no effective treatment for RSV lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) and that supportive care, ie, hydration and oxygenation, remains the cornerstone of clinical management. However, RSV treatments in development in the past decade include 10 vaccines and 11 therapeutic agents in active clinical trials. Maternal vaccination is particularly relevant because the most severe disease occurs within the first 6 months of life, when children are unlikely to benefit from active immunisation. We must optimise the implementation of novel RSV therapeutics by understanding the target populations, showing safety, and striving for acceptable pricing in the context of this worldwide health problem. In this Review, we outline the limitations of RSV LRTI management, the drugs in development, and the remaining challenges related to study design, regulatory approval, and implementation.
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- Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences - Chair of Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Global Health
- Usher Institute
- Centre for Global Health Research
Person: Academic: Research Active