Respiratory syncytial virus
- Negative-sense, single-strand, enveloped RNA virus.
- There are two subtypes (A and B). The severity may be similar between the two viruses.
- The scientific name is human orthopneumovirus.
- A synonym is human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV), sometimes shortened to just RSV.
- Member of the Pneumoviridae family and Orthopneumovirus genus.
- RSV fusion protein facilitates the fusion of the viral envelope with the host cell membrane. This protein is a target for vaccines and anti-viral agents.
- In this section, we will refer to the virus that infects humans as RSV (although human orthopneumovirus is the international committee on taxonomy of viruses preferred term).
- There are no animal reservoirs for this virus.
- Spread via nasal or oral secretions, either directly via large droplets (and probably aerosolized particles) or indirectly through contact with contaminated hands and environmental surfaces (e.g. cribs, toys, doorknobs, tabletops)
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