Respiratory Syncytial Virus, also called RSV, belongs to paramyxoviridae family. RSV is an enveloped RNA virus with a non-segmented single-stranded negative-sense genome. The disease caused by RSV is called respiratory syncytial virus pneumonia, referred to as syncytial virus pneumonia. Syncytial virus pneumonia is a common interstitial pneumonia in children, often occurred in infants and young children. Since the mother of antibodies cannot prevent the occurrence of infection, the baby will be sick shortly after birth but not the newborn baby. Respiratory Syncytial Virus can be spread by air droplets and close contact.
Fig. 1 The structure of Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Respiratory Syncytial Virus has two antigenic subgroups: A and B, their genome encodes ten proteins, including seven structural proteins (G, F, M1, M2, P, L, N) and three nonstructural proteins (NS1, NS2, SH). G and F are membrane glycoprotein which can stimulate the body to produce protective antibodies, they are the most important protective antigens. F protein is a fusion glycoprotein, and can fuse the envelope and the host cell into syncytia. Meanwhile, F protein of RSV can also induce humoral immunity and cellular immunity. F protein has two forms in the process of infection: mature F protein and immature F protein. The mature F proteins that are formed in the same time can form a new protein conformation, which makes the virus escape the attacks from immune system.
G protein, also known as adhesion protein, allows the virus to adsorb on the cell surface of the host, mediated RSV and cell contact, which leads to the infection. G protein is the most significant protein in all known RSV proteins. Between the A, B antigenic subtypes of RSV, the mainly difference is the G protein, the homology of A, B subtypes is only 5%. Both F and G proteins can induce the production of neutralizing antibodies.
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