Novel Live Attenuated Vaccines for Pneumoviruses

A method to create vaccines for pneumoviruses, using recombinant viruses.

The Need

Pneumoviruses consist of pathogens that target the upper respiratory tract within their specific hosts. These include many important human and animal pathogens, such as human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV), hMPV, bovine RSV, pneumonia virus of mice (PVM), and avian metapneumovirus (aMPV). Also, hRSV and hMPV are one of the leading causes of acute respiratory tract infection in infants and children. Even though there has been great efforts to do so, an antiviral or vaccine to combat these diseases have yet to be created. Therefore, there has to be even more efforts to create one, for the wellbeing of the patients inflicted with pneumoviruses.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Jianrong Li, developed a method to vaccinate patients using recombinant viruses. Specifically, the researchers knew that all known pneumoviruses encode a zinc binding protein, M2­1, which is also a transcriptional anti­termination factor. Knowing this, the researchers generated a panel of recombinant hRSV (rhRSV) and hMPV (rhMPV) that lacked any zinc binding activity in the M2­1 protein. The recombinant viruses were completely defective in replication, and it allowed for the body to develop antibodies for it.

Commercial Applications

  • Hospitals
  • Pneumovirus research groups


  • The recombinant viruses are genetically stable
  • The recombinant viruses provide complete protection against hRSV and hMPV

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