respiratory syncytial virus

noun
plural respiratory syncytial viruses

Definition of respiratory syncytial virus

: a pneumovirus (species Human orthopneumovirus of the genus Orthopneumovirus) that usually causes mild infections of the upper respiratory tract but may progress to bronchiolitis and pneumonia especially in infants Respiratory syncytial virus causes colds in older children and adults, but in infants it can develop into bronchiolitis, a dangerous, even life-threatening, lower-respiratory infection.— Perri Klass

Note: Respiratory syncytial virus was initially identified in 1956 and was formerly classified as a paramyxovirus.

abbreviation RSV

Examples of respiratory syncytial virus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Analyses suggest that the underlying pathogens were human respiratory syncytial virus or human metapneumovirus, which both cause respiratory illnesses in people, along with secondary bacterial infections. Jackie Rocheleau, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Researchers Are Protecting Great Apes from Covid-19," 8 Dec. 2020 Using the antiviral drug remdesivir, which was originally developed to fight hepatitis C and respiratory syncytial virus but failed to work against either. Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus infections are higher than ever, but COVID-19 deaths are not. Why?," 25 Nov. 2020 This occurred with a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus given to children in the 1960s, and in animal experiments with vaccines against SARS and another coronavirus disease, Middle East respiratory syndrome. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "With global push for COVID-19 vaccines, China aims to win friends and cut deals," 25 Nov. 2020 While the details of Moderna’s science are proprietary, Salem says the company’s COVID-19 vaccine likely builds on its previous work using lipid nanoparticles in immunizations for other infectious diseases, such as respiratory syncytial virus. Sarah Elizabeth Richards, National Geographic, "Why Moderna may have an edge in the vaccine race: refrigeration," 20 Nov. 2020 Remdesivir was initially developed over a decade ago as a potential treatment for hepatitis C and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Huge COVID study finds remdesivir doesn’t work—FDA grants approval anyway," 23 Oct. 2020 Viruses like the flu, measles, respiratory syncytial virus and Zika have them, too, as do the other types of coronaviruses, SARS and MERS. Dr. Minali Nigam And Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, "We're only just beginning to learn how Covid-19 affects the brain," 29 July 2020 During a clinical trial in the 1960s, 31 infants received a vaccine made with inactivated respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Brendan Borrell, The Atlantic, "The Tree That Could Help Stop the Pandemic," 21 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'respiratory syncytial virus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of respiratory syncytial virus

1957, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of respiratory syncytial virus was in 1957

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Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Respiratory syncytial virus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/respiratory%20syncytial%20virus. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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respiratory syncytial virus

noun

Medical Definition of respiratory syncytial virus

: a pneumovirus (species Human orthopneumovirus of the genus Orthopneumovirus) that usually causes mild infections of the upper respiratory tract but may progress to bronchiolitis and pneumonia especially in infants Respiratory syncytial virus is the most important respiratory pathogen causing lower respiratory tract infection in infants and young children.— David W. Smith et al., The New England Journal of Medicine

Note: Respiratory syncytial virus was initially identified in 1956 and was formerly classified as a paramyxovirus. Cells infected with the virus typically fuse with adjacent cells to form multinucleate syncytia.

abbreviation RSV

More from Merriam-Webster on respiratory syncytial virus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about respiratory syncytial virus

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