Despite significant research since it was discovered more than 50 years ago, respiratory syncytial
virus (RSV) continues to be the leading agent causing infant hospitalization and respiratory distress worldwide.
Although RSV normally does not cause mortality, this virus is recognized as a major public health and
economic burden around the globe. RSV can modulate host immunity leading to an inflammatory response
that produces lung damage and virus dissemination in the host airways. Remarkably, infection with the virus
elicits poor immunity that in most cases fails to protect against subsequent exposures. Here, we review
advances made on the understanding of the lifecycle of the virus, some of the molecular mechanisms it has
evolved to cause pathology and ineffective immunity during infection. Hopefully, ongoing research will
contribute to developing new drugs and candidate vaccines that will decrease the health burden caused by this
Keywords: Dendritic cells, immune evasion, immune modulation, prophylaxis, T cells, vaccine, virus infective cycle.
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