"This is a long-awaited and much-needed discovery that will help researchers develop new therapies for this disease, which has a large global burden, primarily affecting young children and other vulnerable populations," said Dr. David Marchant, a research associate at UBC's James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre at St. Paul's Hospital, and co-lead on the study. "What is especially encouraging is that there is already a lot of ground work done in terms of understanding the biology of nucleolin to treat other ailments like cancer. The discovery of the RSV receptor combined with this knowledge could help deliver a potential therapeutic much faster."
Increasingly, RSV is being recognized as a serious pathogen of the elderly for causing lung infections such as pneumonia. It is also a common cause of middle ear infections and can infect other organ systems, and has been implicated in the onset of asthma and allergy in children. Organ transplant recipients or other individuals whose immune systems are compromised are also at increased risk for serious RSV lung infections.
According to the World Health Organization, the global RSV disease burden is estimated at 64 million cases and 160,000 deaths each year. It is considered the single most important cause of severe respiratory illness in infants and young children.1
|Contact: Jim Oldfield|
University of Toronto