Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35861054
Link to DOI – 10.1093/infdis/jiac295
J Infect Dis 2022 Dec; 226(12): 2079-2088
Infections caused by human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are associated with substantial rates of morbidity and mortality. Treatment options are limited, and there is urgent need for the development of efficient antivirals. Pattern recognition receptors such as the cytoplasmic helicase retinoic acid-inducible gene (RIG) I can be activated by viral nucleic acids, leading to activation of interferon-stimulated genes and generation of an “antiviral state.” In the current study, we activated RIG-I with synthetic RNA agonists (3pRNA) to induce resistance to RSV infection in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, pretreatment of human, mouse, and ferret airway cell lines with RIG-I agonist before RSV exposure inhibited virus infection and replication. Moreover, a single intravenous injection of 3pRNA 1 day before RSV infection resulted in potent inhibition of virus replication in the lungs of mice and ferrets, but not in nasal tissues. These studies provide evidence that RIG-I agonists represent a promising antiviral drug for RSV prophylaxis.