UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems

Publication Date


Document Type

Article Preprint


Immunity | Immunoprophylaxis and Therapy | Microbiology | Respiratory Tract Diseases | Virus Diseases


Maternal anti-respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) antibodies acquired by the fetus through the placenta protect neonates from RSV disease through the first weeks of life. In the cotton rat model of RSV infections, we previously reported that immunization of dams during pregnancy with virus-like particles assembled with mutation stabilized pre-fusion F protein as well as the wild type G protein resulted in robust protection of their offspring from RSV challenge (Blanco, et al Journal of Virology 93: e00914-19, Here we describe the durability of those protective responses in dams, the durability of protection in offspring, and the transfer of that protection to offspring of two consecutive pregnancies without a second boost immunization. We report that four weeks after birth, offspring of the first pregnancy were significantly protected from RSV replication in both lungs and nasal tissues after RSV challenge, but protection was reduced in pups at 6 weeks after birth. However, the overall protection of offspring of the second pregnancy was considerably reduced, even at four weeks of age. This drop in protection occurred even though the levels of total anti-pre-F IgG and neutralizing antibody titers in dams remained at similar, high levels before and after the second pregnancy. The results are consistent with an evolution of antibody properties in dams to populations less efficiently transferred to offspring or the less efficient transfer of antibodies in elderly dams.


Microbiology, Maternal anti-respiratory syncytial virus, pregnancy, antibodies

Rights and Permissions

The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. It is made available under a CC-BY 4.0 International license.

DOI of Published Version



bioRxiv 2021.07.30.454440; doi: Link to preprint on bioRxiv.


This article is a preprint. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been certified by peer review.

Journal/Book/Conference Title


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.