Background: Acute respiratory illness due to respiratory syncytial virus is one of the most common causes of hospitalization in very young children worldwide. The virus was discovered half a century ago, yet the underlying mechanisms of the disease are not fully understood and treatment remains supportive. Methods: This review article discusses therapeutic and preventive strategies, past, present and future, in the battle against respiratory syncytial virus. Conclusion: Prevention of severe respiratory syncytial virus infection in high-risk children can be achieved by the administration of specific monoclonal antibodies. Current issues include the management of respiratory syncytial virus infection in those with underlying immunological disease, the prevention of long-term airway morbidity and the development of innovative vaccines.
- Respiratory syncytial virus