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Antibody response after RSV infection in children younger than 1 year of age living in a rural area of Mozambique

Lookup NU author(s): Fiona Fenwick, Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Toms


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Serological responses have been studied in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infected children <1 year of age attending the outpatient department of the Manhiça District Hospital (Mozambique). Molecular characterization of viral RNA in nasopharyngeal aspirates from the infected children indicated a high level of genetic uniformity among the infecting viruses, all of which belonged to a single genotype of RSV group A. A representative virus strain, Moz00, was isolated from one of the infants and was used, together with the group A strain A2 and the group B strain 8/60, as antigens in the quantification of infant antibody responses. In this study, 97.5% (39/40) and 96.4% (27/28) of infected children produced an antibody response against Moz00 detected by the membrane fluorescent antibody test (MFAT) and the neutralization test (NT), respectively. Seroconversion rates decreased when the A2 and 8/60 strains were used as antigen in MFAT (95.4% and 88.2%, respectively) or NT (81.8% and 54.5%, respectively), indicating that antibody responses had both group-and strain-specific components. Antibodies in convalescent sera of infected children were compared with maternally derived antibodies detected in a group of children also <1 year of age, but with no evidence of RSV infection. The convalescent sera exhibited reduced neutralizing capacity when the 8/60 strain was used as antigen (P=0.028), suggesting that the infant antibody response lacks neutralizing capacity against strains of the heterologous virus group. Restricted cross-reactivity and neutralizing capacity of antibodies generated by young children might be expected to induce only moderate protection in subsequent epidemics against genetically distant strains. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc..

Publication metadata

Author(s): Roca A, Quinto L, Abacassamo F, Loscertales MP, Gomez-Olive FX, Fenwick F, Cane PA, Saiz JC, Toms G, Alonso PL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Medical Virology

Year: 2003

Volume: 69

Issue: 4

Pages: 579-587

ISSN (print): 0146-6615

ISSN (electronic): 1096-9071

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing


DOI: 10.1002/jmv.10348

PubMed id: 12601767


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