Researchers Evaluate New Advancements for RSV Management, Treatment

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The most recent advances included an approved vaccine that could immunize both the elderly and pregnant women, along with the release of nirsevimab.

Research published in Eurosurveillance analyzed recent advances involving respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) to better understand the burden, annual circulation patterns, and genomic evolution of the virus.

RSV positive test result by using rapid test cassette, diagnosis for respiratory disease - Image credit: Jarun011 | stock.adobe.com

Image credit: Jarun011 | stock.adobe.com

The most recent advances in the European Union (EU) included an approved vaccine that could immunize both the elderly and pregnant women, along with the release of nirsevimab, a long-acting monoclonal antibody.

The press release noted that the immunizations were the first to be released in the EU in more than 60 years. 

Researchers Eeva Broberg and Hanna Nohynek also evaluated tools used to address RSV.

“Sequencing data need to be collected and reported to publicly accessible databases. As for other respiratory viruses and most infectious diseases, under-ascertainment will remain an issue for RSV surveillance in general as patients may present late for testing after the infection or not even be tested if they present with mild symptoms,” the study authors said in a press release.

To evaluate the efficiency of the new advancements in Europe, Broberg and Nohynek connected with 2 PCR-based sequencing systems that could be used as methods to monitor the genetic diversity of the virus. The systems aimed to identify the effectiveness and treatment strategies for the approved vaccines and the authors emphasized that they provided a “less labor-intensive and less costly” approach, resulting in greater laboratory capacities.

Broberg and Nohynek believe that the approach could be used in retrospective molecular epidemiolocal studies on RSV.

“Even with the simplified approach to sequence only the G and F gene genome, molecular evolution of RSV could be assessed,” said Broberg and Nohynek, in a press release.

The study authors noted that prior to the use nirsevimab in Spain and France, the immunization achievement was successful in Galicia and displayed a range of 81% to 98%. The results were highlighted by Martinón-Torres et al. in from Spain.

Because of the wave of RSV infection in the previous year, individuals were more aware of the severity of the illness, motivating them to receive the vaccine this season.

“The value of the work of Martinón-Torres et al. lies not only in the clear and meticulous description of how implementation challenges were approached…which provides an excellent example to other European countries, but also in the fact that Galicia will be able to answer the burning question on whether universal introduction of nirsevimab in the real- world setting is a cost-effective intervention on the short as well as the long run. If preventing RSV infection in early life can reduce asthma later in life, the impact of the intervention will be manifold,” said Broberg and Nohynek, in a press release.

Reference

Milestones in Europe: First results in using new tools to tackle respiratory syncytial virus. EurekAlert!. News release. December 8, 2023. Accessed December 13, 2023. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1010599.

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