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Scientists create potential vaccine ingredient for childhood respiratory disease (RSV)

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have invented a new method for designing artificial proteins, and have used it to make key ingredients for a candidate vaccine against a dangerous virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a significant cause of infant mortality. The virus has been resistant to current vaccine-design strategies.

With the help of collaborating laboratories, the scientists were able to apply the new method, which uses a "rational design" approach to making vaccines focused on specific binding areas (epitopes) on the virus. The result was designer vaccine proteins that the scientists showed stimulate the production of the desired virus-neutralizing antibodies in rhesus macaques.

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