Effect of Infant RSV Infection on Memory T Cell Responses at Age 2-3 Years

Tatiana Chirkova, Christian Rosas-Salazar, Tebeb Gebretsadik, Samadhan J. Jadhao, James D. Chappell, R. Stokes Peebles, William D. Dupont, Dawn C. Newcomb, Sergejs Berdnikovs, Peter J. Gergen, Tina V. Hartert, Larry J. Anderson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: It is unknown whether RSV infection in infancy alters subsequent RSV immune responses. Methods: In a nested cohort of healthy, term children, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were collected at ages 2-3 years to examine RSV memory T cell responses among children previously RSV infected during infancy (first year of life) compared to those RSV-uninfected during infancy. The presence vs. absence of infant RSV infection was determined through a combination of RSV molecular and serologic testing. Memory responses were measured in RSV stimulated PBMCs. Results: Compared to children not infected with RSV during the first year of life, children infected with RSV during infancy had lower memory T cell responses at ages 2-3 years to in vitro stimulation with RSV for most tested type-1 and type-17 markers for a number of memory T cell subsets. Conclusions: RSV infection in infancy has long-term effects on memory T cell responses. This is the first study to show the potential for RSV infection in infancy to have long-term effects on the immune memory irrespective of the severity of the infection. Our results suggest a possible mechanism through which infant RSV infection may result in greater risk of subsequent childhood respiratory viral morbidity, findings also relevant to vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number826666
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - Mar 17 2022


  • RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)
  • asthma
  • children
  • epidemiology
  • infants
  • memory immune response
  • peripheral blood mononuclear cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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