Impact of respiratory syncytial virus infection on host functions: Implications for antiviral strategies

Meng Jie Hu, Marie A. Bogoyevitch, David A. Jans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the leading causes of viral respiratory tract infection in infants, the elderly, and the immunocompromised worldwide, causing more deaths each year than influenza. Years of research into RSV since its discovery over 60 yr ago have elucidated detailed mechanisms of the hostpathogen interface. RSV infection elicits widespread transcriptomic and proteomic changes, which both mediate the host innate and adaptive immune responses to infection, and reflect RSV’s ability to circumvent the host stress responses, including stress granule formation, endoplasmic reticulum stress, oxidative stress, and programmed cell death. The combination of these events can severely impact on human lungs, resulting in airway remodeling and pathophysiology. The RSV membrane envelope glycoproteins (fusion F and attachment G), matrix (M) and nonstructural (NS) 1 and 2 proteins play key roles in modulating host cell functions to promote the infectious cycle. This review presents a comprehensive overview of how RSV impacts the host response to infection and how detailed knowledge of the mechanisms thereof can inform the development of new approaches to develop RSV vaccines and therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1594
Number of pages68
JournalPhysiological Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Airway epithelium
  • Anti-RSV therapeutics
  • Glycoproteins
  • Host responses
  • Lung pathology
  • Matrix protein
  • Nonstructural proteins
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • RSV vaccines

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