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Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is an RNA virus that causes acute upper and lower respiratory tract infection and has a significant global burden of morbidity and mortality. It can affect all age groups, however, the largest burden of disease is among young children and older adults. The antiviral ribavirin is occasionally used for profoundly immunosuppressed patients, but otherwise the management of RSV infection is largely supportive. There is currently no RSV vaccine but the monoclonal antibody, palivizumab, is available as prophylaxis for high risk infants. There is ongoing research into novel antivirals and vaccines, the development of which remain a public health priority.

Original publication





Book title

Encyclopedia of Virology: Volume 1-5, Fourth Edition

Publication Date





155 - 159