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© 2015 Australasian Society for Immunology Inc. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection remains a significant global health burden disproportionately affecting infants and leading to long-term lung disease. Interleukin (IL)-17A has been shown to be involved in regulating viral and allergic lung inflammatory responses, which has led to a more recent interest in its role in RSV infection. Using a neonatal mouse model of RSV, we demonstrate that neonates fail to develop IL-17A responses compared with adult mice; the main immediate IL-17A contributor in adults were γδ T cells. Antibody neutralization of IL-17A in adult mice caused increased lung inflammation and airway mucus from RSV, whereas exogenous IL-17A administration to RSV-infected neonates caused decreased inflammation but no change in airway mucus. We also observed a lack of pro-inflammatory cytokine production (IL-1β, IL-6) from infected neonates. Using human cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMCs) and adult peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), we compared inflammasome activation by direct retinoic acid-inducible gene I agonism; CBMCs failed to induce pro-inflammatory cytokines or IL-17A+γδ T cells compared with PBMCs. Our results indicate that RSV disease severity is in part mediated by a lack of inflammasome activation and IL-17A production in neonates.

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Immunology and Cell Biology

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