NIAID funds several research activities to evaluate potential new therapies for RSV. For example, one study supported in part by NIAID unveiled a possible role of the anti-influenza drug oseltamivir in treating RSV infection. The study, published in the March 2007 issue of the Journal of Immunology, found that the drug decreased RSV-induced weight loss and inhibited RSV clearance in mice, suggesting that it may be effective in moderating RSV symptoms in humans.
Scientists in the Laboratory of Allergic Diseases have developed a mouse model of a disease similar to human RSV, called pneumonia virus of mice (PVM). Studying PVM, researchers have discovered that inflammation is an important part of severe RSV disease, which suggests that using antivirals together with anti-inflammatory therapies to treat severe RSV may ease discomfort and help patients recover more quickly.