Rhinovirus vaccination: the case in favour.


R espiratory viruses have been shown to be important respiratory pathogens. The majority of upper respiratory tract infections and most uncomplicated cases of acute tracheobronchitis are due to respiratory viral infections [1]. Moreover, respiratory viruses play an important role as infective triggers of acute exacerbations of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma [2–5] and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) [6–8]. Human rhinoviruses (HRVs) were by far the most frequent respiratory viruses detected in most of the studies cited. Hence, HRVs can be considered as very important respiratory pathogens in upper and lower respiratory tract infections. In particular, the role of HRVs in exacerbations of asthma and COPD makes them an important therapeutic target. Treatment of acute respiratory viral infections is difficult and results of interventional studies have not yet been convincing [1, 9]. Management of influenza infections has shown especially that vaccination is much more effective than treatment of acute infection [10]. To date, we do not have an approved treatment for HRV infections and, given our experience with influenza, vaccination seems a much more sensible option. However, we face a range of difficulties in approaching HRV vaccination. First, there are .100 HRV serotypes with high sequence variability in their antigenic sites [11]. Secondly, knowledge of HRV epidemiology is limited, as we do not have HRV surveillance as we have for influenza. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to identify the most important serotypes that have to be covered by a possible vaccine. Thirdly, HRV has three antigenic capsid proteins and evidence is limited with regard to their individual importance for vaccine development [12]. Finally, and most importantly, animal models of HRV infections are limited and evidence on HRV pathophysiology from such models is still scarce.

DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00136510

Cite this paper

@article{Rohde2011RhinovirusVT, title={Rhinovirus vaccination: the case in favour.}, author={Gernot G. U. Rohde}, journal={The European respiratory journal}, year={2011}, volume={37 1}, pages={3-4} }