ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

Giving RSV some POP(G)

January 14, 2010 8:00 AM UTC

A group at National Jewish Health has shown that a low-cost pulmonary surfactant called palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylglycerol, already known to attenuate respiratory syncytial virus-induced inflammatory responses, also inhibits binding of the virus to lungepithelial surfaces.1 Although delivery and timing issues still need to be worked out, the surfactant's mechanism could offer a one-two punch to prevent or treat the infection.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of hospitalization in children younger than six months. Infection progresses from a mild upper airway condition that in most cases goes undiagnosed to a more serious and less accessible lower airway episode. Major risk factors leading to serious RSV infection, which in turn can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), are preterm birth, congenital heart defects and chronic lung disease...