Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes severe respiratory disease in both infants and calves. As in humans, bovine RSV (BRSV) infections are most severe in the first 6 months of life. In this study, experimental infection with BRSV was performed in calves aged 1-5, 9-16 or 32-37 weeks. Compared to younger animals, older calves showed significantly less fever and lower TNFa. levels and less virus-specific IFN gamma release. In addition, blood from older animals had more mononuclear cells, more B cells and stronger BRSV-specific IgA and neutralising antibody responses to infection. A strong "inflammatory" but weak humoral antiviral response in very young animals suggests that enhanced inflammation contributes to disease during RSV infection during the early postnatal period.
- bovine respiratory syncytial virus
- age-dependent immunity