A bovine model of vaccine enhanced respiratory syncytial virus pathophysiology

Gershwin LJ, Schelegle ES, Gunther RA, Anderson ML, Woolums AR, Larochelle DR, Boyle GA, Friebertshauser KE, Singer RS
Vaccine 16:1225-1236

A critical issue has been the observation that vaccination of children with a formalin-inactivated respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine is associated with disease enhancement. We have taken advantage of bovine RSV and our experience with this disease in calves to develop a natural model that parallels human disease. Using formalin-inactivated bovine RSV vaccine calves were either sham-vaccinated/infected, vaccinated/infected, or vaccinated/sham-infected and their clinical signs, pulmonary function, and histological lung lesions quantitatively scored. Interestingly there was significantly greater disease in vaccinated/infected calves and histological lesions in calves were similar to those of affected children. Finally, we note that vaccination did not induce neutralizing antibodies, but IgG antibodies were detected by ELISA. Our model of RSV enhanced disease is important because it provides quantifiable evidence of disease severity that can be applied to evaluate the mechanisms of immunopathology and the safety of candidate RSV vaccines.