Analysis of the Physical Stability of Recombinant Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Strains Against Temperature, pH, and UV Light Exposure.

Katelyn Castiglia Butler University, , Darby DeFord Butler University, Jenna Nosek Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Christopher Stobart Butler University, Sean Berthrong Butler University
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a negative-strand RNA virus that is associated with upper and lower respiratory infections in young infants and the elderly. RSV remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in these age groups worldwide, and no vaccine currently exists. The development of a vaccine has been hindered by a legacy of vaccine-enhanced disease, poor immunogenicity of vaccine candidates in affected populations, and intrinsic physical and genetic instabilities of the virus. The differences in physical stability of circulating strains of RSV remain poorly understood. To better understand the limitations of RSV stability among circulating strains, we subjected a panel of recombinant RSV clinical strains to variations in temperature, pH, and UV light as well as observed their replication kinetics and potential to form syncytia. Our experiments identify significant differences in replication, syncytia formation, and thermal stability between our RSV panel strains. In contrast, there were no significant differences between RSV strains with regards to inactivation by variations in pH or UV light. These studies provide the first detailed comparison of the stability of RSV strains. This work may provide new methodologies to improve RSV vaccine stability and highlight novel disinfection approaches in high-risk environments for viral spread.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

11:00 AM
Gallahue Hall 106