Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Christopher Stobart


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is currently a leading cause of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI). Despite contributing to a significant mortality rate in young children and immunocompromised populations, it still lacks a vaccine. Live-attenuated vaccines are the preferred vaccination model for RSV, but achieving attenuation, immunogenicity, and stability can be difficult. Previous studies have indicated that deletion of the RSV G protein attenuates viral replication, but the role of the protein’s mucin domains has not been fully explored. We generate two new RSV strains here with varying G protein deletions: A2-line19F-G155 with deletion of the G-protein mucin domains, and A2- line19F-G155S with deletion of both the G-protein mucin domains and the transmembrane domain (thus only expressing a secreted G protein lacking mucin). In comparing these strains to a previously categorized strain with the same genetic background and a normal, complete G protein (A2-line19F), we categorize the phenotypes of these novel strains. Both G-protein viruses were more easily neutralized, more attenuated in Hep2 cells, and demonstrated less thermostability than A2-line19F. Therefore, with further testing these strains may have potential as future RSV vaccine candidates.

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