Identifying Cross-Utilization of RSV Vaccine Inventions across the Human and Veterinary Field

Marga Janse*, Swasti D. Soekhradj, M.C. Klaassen-de Jong, Linda H.M. van de Burgwal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has two main variants with similar impact, a human and a bovine variant. The human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is the most frequent cause of acute respiratory disease (pneumonia) in children, leading to hospitalization and causing premature death. In Europe, lower respiratory tract infections caused by HRSV are responsible for 42–45 percent of hospital admissions in children under two. Likewise, the bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) is a significant cause of acute viral broncho-pneumonia in calves. To date no licensed HRSV vaccine has been developed, despite the high burden of the disease. In contrast, BRSV vaccines have been on the market since the 1970s, but there is still an articulated unmet need for improved BRSV vaccines with greater efficacy. HRSV/BRSV vaccine development was chosen as a case to assess whether collaboration and knowledge-sharing between human and veterinary fields is taking place, benefiting the development of new vaccines in both fields. The genetic relatedness, comparable pathogeneses, and similar severity of the diseases suggests much can be gained by sharing knowledge and experiences between the human and veterinary fields. We analyzed patent data, as most of pharmaceutical inventions, such as the development of vaccines, are protected by patents. Our results show only little cross-utilization of inventions and no collaborations, as in shared IP as an exchange of knowledge. This suggests that, despite the similarities in the genetics and antigenicity of HRSV and BRSV, each fields follows its own process in developing new vaccines.
Original languageEnglish
Article number46
Issue number1
Early online date27 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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