Vaughan K, Ponomarenko J, Peters B, Sette A. Analysis of Human RSV Immunity at the Molecular Level: Learning from the Past and Present. PLoS One. 2015 May 22;10(5):e0127108. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127108. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 26001197
Human RSV is one of the most prevalent viral pathogens of early childhood for which no vaccine is available. Herein we provide an analysis of RSV epitope data to examine its application to vaccine design and development. Our objective was to provide an overview of antigenic coverage, identify critical antibody and T cell determinants, and then analyze the cumulative RSV epitope data from the standpoint of functional responses using a combinational approach to characterize antigenic structure and epitope location. A review of the cumulative data revealed, not surprisingly, that the vast majority of epitopes have been defined for the two major surface antigens, F and G. Antibody and T cell determinants have been reported from multiple hosts, including those from human subjects following natural infection, however human data represent a minority of the data. A structural analysis of the major surface antigen, F, showed that the majority of epitopes defined for functional antibodies (neutralizing and/or protective) were either shown to bind pre-F or to be accessible in both pre- and post-F forms. This finding may have has implications for on-going vaccine design and development. These interpretations are in agreement with previous work and can be applied in the larger context of functional epitopes on the F protein. It is our hope that this work will provide the basis for further RSV-specific epitope discovery and investigation into the nature of antigen conformation in immunogenicity.