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<p><strong>BACKGROUND:</strong> Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis in young infants. However, it is also a significant pathogen in older adults. Validated biomarkers of RSV disease severity would benefit diagnostics, treatment decisions, and prophylactic interventions. This review summarizes knowledge of biomarkers for RSV disease in adults.</p> <p><strong>METHODS:</strong> A literature review was performed using Ovid Medline, Embase, Global health, Scopus, and Web of Science for articles published 1946-October 2016. Nine articles were identified plus 9 from other sources.</p> <p><strong>RESULTS:</strong> From observational studies of natural infection and challenge studies in volunteers, biomarkers of RSV susceptibility or disease severity in adults were: (1) lower anti-RSV neutralizing antibodies, where neutralizing antibody (and local IgA) may be a correlate of susceptibility/severity; (2) RSV-specific CD8+ T cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid preinfection (subjects with higher levels had less severe illness); and (3) elevated interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, and myeloperoxidase levels in the airway are indicative of severe infection.</p> <p><strong>CONCLUSIONS:</strong> Factors determining susceptibility to and severity of RSV disease in adults have not been well defined. Respiratory mucosal antibodies and CD8+&#x2005;T cells appear to contribute to preventing infection and modulation of disease severity. Studies of RSV pathogenesis in at-risk populations are needed.</p>

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Infectious Diseases


Oxford University Press

Publication Date





S584 - S591


Interleukin-8, antibodies, neutralizing, neutralizing antibody, inflammation, bronchiolitis, severity, Immunity, Cellular, severity of illness index, biomarker, RESCEU, FFR, Interleukin-6, viral load, COPD, biomarkers, RSV, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, respiratory syncytial virus, IL-6, respiratory syncytial virus infections, adult, respiratory syncytial virus, human, MPO