Disease severity in respiratory syncytial virus infection: Role of host genetic variation

Alireza Tahamtan, Fatemeh Sana Askari, Louis Bont, Vahid Salimi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in the pediatric population worldwide. The immunopathology of RSV infection varies considerably and severe disease occurs only in a minority of the population. There are many factors (host, viral, and environmental) that contribute to the complicated disease phenotype. In this regard, host factors are decisive for pulmonary susceptibility to RSV infection. Host genetic diversity certainly affects the balance between control of viral replication and tissue damage during RSV infection, consequently impacting on diseases outcome. In this review, we discuss the role of host genetic variation in disease caused by RSV aiming to highlight genetic risk factors for one of the most common diseases in early childhood. Our findings clearly indicate that the response of each individual to infection is influenced by genetic diversity mainly linked to the regulation of host immune responses. Future genetic association and functional studies using more powerful and consistently reproducible approaches will likely be able to confirm, refine, and expand our developing concept of RSV disease pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2026
JournalReviews in Medical Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • diseases severity
  • host genetic variation
  • immunopathology
  • nucleotide polymorphism
  • respiratory syncytial virus


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