Scientists in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases (LID) were instrumental in developing palivizumab (brand name Synagis), which is currently the only preventive medicine available for RSV. LID researchers are currently working with industry on the development of candidate nasal-spray RSV vaccines. A nasal spray not only provides direct stimulation of local immunity in the nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs, it also promises to make administering the vaccine easier and less painful than using a needle.
Additionally, NIAID supports research to develop a vaccine that would help provide protection from RSV and human parainfluenza virus types 1 and 3, which also are major causes of respiratory disease in infants and young children. Researchers plan to evaluate several versions of this vaccine for immunogenicity (the ability to provoke an immune response) and advance the most promising candidates into studies of safety and effectiveness in non-human primates.