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The Development of a Human Model of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection

This study has been completed.
Wellcome Trust
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Imperial College London Identifier:
First received: May 5, 2011
Last updated: June 3, 2015
Last verified: June 2012

The aim of this study is to understand the immune response (how the body fights infection) to Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). This virus usually causes a simple 'common cold' illness in healthy adults, but can cause wheezing and lung problems in young infants and the elderly. The investigators want to understand why this is, in order to develop vaccines and treatments.

Participants will include 30-40 healthy adults age 18-55 years. Study procedures will include brief medical exams, breathing tests, a diary of symptoms, blood tests, samples of fluid (lavage) and cells from the nose, throat and lungs. All participants will receive the virus via drops in the nose. The duration of the study for all subjects will be 6 weeks.

Condition Intervention
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections
Respiratory Viral Infections
Biological: RSV A Memphis 37

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: The Development of a Human Model of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Imperial College London:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Host response to RSV challenge [ Time Frame: Prior to and 0-28 days post challenge ]
    The host response to RSV challenge will be assessed daily for 14 days using methods such as symptom diaries, volume of nasal secretions, numbers of inflammatory cells in nasal mucus, and levels of chemical mediators in nasal fluids. This will be compared with that at baseline and at 28 days post challenge.

Enrollment: 40
Study Start Date: May 2011
Study Completion Date: September 2014
Primary Completion Date: October 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Viral Challenge Biological: RSV A Memphis 37
Intranasal administration
Other Name: M37

Detailed Description:

Bronchiolitis is the commonest cause of hospital admission in infants. It is caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus(RSV), a virus that causes mild 'common colds' in adults, but can cause lung inflammation and difficulty breathing in infants and the elderly. In 2005, nearly 34 million cases in children <5 years occurred, resulting in 3.4 million hospital admissions,and around 120,000 deaths. There is no vaccine, and some previous vaccines actually made the disease worse.

The investigators have been trying to understand why for 40 years. Advances in immunology have given us a completely different way of looking at inflammation: rather than studying what causes it, the investigators now want to know what regulates it. Much of what the investigators know about how what causes and regulates inflammation has come from studies of animals, however, these do not exactly predict what happens in man.

The investigators therefore plan to infect healthy adult volunteers with RSV, and observe what happens in humans after RSV infection. The investigators will collect samples of blood, fluid and cells from the nose, throat, and lungs, and a diary of symptoms over four weeks. The investigators will analyse the blood, fluid, and cells to determine the important mechanisms that regulate inflammation in human RSV infection.

Studies like this have been conducted previously with no severe side effects. The investigators anticipate that the discoveries made in this research project will help us achieve a better understanding of what causes and regulates inflammation in RSV so that the investigators can learn ways to control it, with the aim of developing vaccines and treatments.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 55 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Healthy persons aged 18 to 55 years, able to give informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Chronic respiratory disease (asthma, COPD, rhinitis, sinusitis) in adulthood
  • Inhaled bronchodilator or steroid use within the last 12 months
  • Use of any medication or other product (prescription or over-the-counter) for symptoms of rhinitis or nasal congestion within the last 6 months
  • Acute upper respiratory infection (URI or sinusitis) in the past 6 weeks
  • Smoking in the past 6 months OR >5 pack-year lifetime history
  • Subjects with allergic symptoms present at baseline
  • Those in close domestic contact (i.e. sharing a household with, caring for, or daily face to face contact) with children under 3 years, the elderly (>65 years), immunosuppressed persons, or those with chronic respiratory disease
  • Subjects with known or suspected immune deficiency
  • Receipt of systemic glucocorticoids (in a dose ≥ 5 mg prednisone daily or equivalent) within one month, or any other cytotoxic or immunosuppressive drug within 6 months prior to challenge
  • History of frequent nose bleeds
  • Any significant medical condition or prescribed drug deemed by the study doctor to make the participant unsuitable for the study
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01349543

United Kingdom
St. Mary's Hospital, Imperial College London, Norfolk Place,
London, United Kingdom, W2 1PG
Sponsors and Collaborators
Imperial College London
Wellcome Trust
Principal Investigator: Peter Openshaw Imperial College London
  More Information

Responsible Party: Imperial College London Identifier: NCT01349543     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: JROSM0127
Study First Received: May 5, 2011
Last Updated: June 3, 2015

Keywords provided by Imperial College London:
Respiratory syncytial virus
Viral infection
Viral challenge
Viral lung disease

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Communicable Diseases
Virus Diseases
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections
Pneumovirus Infections
Paramyxoviridae Infections
Mononegavirales Infections
RNA Virus Infections processed this record on April 21, 2017