A C Langedijk, R J Lebbink, C Naaktgeboren, A Evers, M C Viveen, A Greenough, et al.
Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a global cause of severe respiratory morbidity and mortality in infants. While preventive and therapeutic interventions are being developed, including antivirals, vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, little is known about the global molecular epidemiology of RSV. INFORM is a prospective, multicenter, global clinical study performed by ReSViNET to investigate the worldwide molecular diversity of RSV isolates collected from children less than 5 years of age.
Methods: The INFORM study is performed in 17 countries spanning all inhabited continents and will provide insight into the molecular epidemiology of circulating RSV strains worldwide. Sequencing of > 4000 RSV-positive respiratory samples is planned to detect temporal and geographical molecular patterns on a molecular level over five consecutive years. Additionally, RSV will be cultured from a subset of samples to study the functional implications of specific mutations in the viral genome including viral fitness and susceptibility to different monoclonal antibodies.
Discussion: The sequencing and functional results will be used to investigate susceptibility and resistance to novel RSV preventive or therapeutic interventions. Finally, a repository of globally collected RSV strains and a database of RSV sequences will be created.
Keywords: Molecular epidemiology; Monoclonal antibodies; Next generation sequencing; Respiratory syncytial virus; Temporal and geographical diversity; Vaccines.
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