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Viruses 2018, 10(1), 18;

Transmission of Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus in the Immunocompromised Ferret Model

Viroclinics Biosciences BV, Rotterdam 3029 AK, The Netherlands
Department of Viroscience, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam 3015 CN, The Netherlands
Research Centre for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 30559 Hannover, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 27 December 2017 / Accepted: 30 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) causes substantial morbidity and mortality in vulnerable patients, such as the very young, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals of any age. Nosocomial transmission of HRSV remains a serious challenge in hospital settings, with intervention strategies largely limited to infection control measures, including isolation of cases, high standards of hand hygiene, cohort nursing, and use of personal protective equipment. No vaccines against HRSV are currently available, and treatment options are largely supportive care and expensive monoclonal antibody or antiviral therapy. The limitations of current animal models for HRSV infection impede the development of new preventive and therapeutic agents, and the assessment of their potential for limiting HRSV transmission, in particular in nosocomial settings. Here, we demonstrate the efficient transmission of HRSV from immunocompromised ferrets to both immunocompromised and immunocompetent contact ferrets, with pathological findings reproducing HRSV pathology in humans. The immunocompromised ferret-HRSV model represents a novel tool for the evaluation of intervention strategies against nosocomial transmission of HRSV. View Full-Text
Keywords: respiratory syncytial virus; animal model; ferret; immunocompromised; transmission; contact respiratory syncytial virus; animal model; ferret; immunocompromised; transmission; contact

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de Waal, L.; Smits, S.L.; Veldhuis Kroeze, E.J.B.; van Amerongen, G.; Pohl, M.O.; Osterhaus, A.D.M.E.; Stittelaar, K.J. Transmission of Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus in the Immunocompromised Ferret Model. Viruses 2018, 10, 18.

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