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© 2019 Hijano, Vu, Kauvar, Tripp, Polack and Cormier. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract disease in children patients, such as premature infants, patients with cardiac disease, and severely immune compromised patients. Severe disease is associated with the virulence of the virus as well as host factors specifically including the innate immune response. The role of type I interferons (IFNs) in the response to RSV infection is important in regulating the rate of virus clearance and in directing the character of the immune response, which is normally associated with protection and less severe disease. Two RSV non-structural proteins, NS1 and NS2, as well as the envelope G glycoprotein are known to suppress type I IFN production and a robust type I IFN response to RSV does not occur in human infants or neonatal mouse models of RSV infection. Additionally, presence of type I IFNs are associated with mild symptoms in infants and administration of IFN-α prior to infection of neonatal mice with RSV reduces immunopathology. This evidence has driven RSV prophylaxis and therapeutic efforts to consider strategies for enhancing type I IFN production.

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Frontiers in Immunology