Journal of Undergraduate Research


co-infections, respiratory syncytial virus, immunocompromised adults


Life Sciences


Health Science


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infects almost all infants before their second birthday and can progress to lower respiratory infections such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia. However, few are aware of the effect this has on adults, particularly those who are immunocompromised through organ or bone marrow transplants, treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS), etc. Infection is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among the immunocompromised. This is of note because RSV is one of the few diseases for which humans are the reservoir species, meaning that this virus only infects and lives in humans. The study investigated genetic susceptibility for a rate of coinfection of respiratory syncytial virus and influenza. The gene investigated was the Mx1 gene. The Mx1 gene has been linked to increased immunity against H5N1 influenza strain in mice and shows promised resilience to respiratory illness when present in humans.