Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Christopher Stobart


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a negative-sense, single-strand RNA virus that affects the upper and lower respiratory system in humans. Currently, RSV is the leading cause of infant mortality worldwide, while also infecting target populations of the elderly and immunocompromised. Significant efforts towards vaccine development have been made due to limited therapeutic options, however, physical instabilities of RSV may hinder movement in vaccine development. We hypothesize that strain-specific differences in stability likely attribute to differences in RSV F protein, as proposed by previous studies about the intrinsically instability of RSV. A panel of recombinant RSV viruses were analyzed for strain-specific differences through the characterization of physical stability amongst RSV A and B strains that differed in viral attachment proteins G and F expression tested against various pH solutions. Minimal variations were observed between RSV strains when exposed to pH. This study will provide further information on the role of RSV F protein in virus stability and guidance on design of a live-attenuated RSV vaccine.

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Biology Commons