Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a leading cause of lower respiratory tract illness, has been a focus of vaccine development efforts in recent years. RSV neutralisation assays are particularly useful in the evaluation of immunogenicity of RSV vaccine candidates. Here we report a collaborative study that was conducted with the aim to establish the 1st International Standard for antiserum to RSV, to enable the standardisation of results across multiple assay formats. Two candidate standards were produced from serum samples donated by healthy adult individuals. 25 laboratories from 12 countries, including university laboratories, manufacturers/developers of RSV vaccines and public health laboratories, participated in the study. The study samples comprised the two candidate standards, NIBSC codes 16/284 and 16/322, naturally infected adult sera, age stratified naturally infected paediatric sera, sera from RSV vaccine clinical trials in maternal and elderly subjects, a monoclonal antibody to RSV (palivizumab), two cotton rat serum samples and samples from the BEI Resources panel of human antiserum and immune globulin to RSV. The collaborative study showed that between-laboratory variability in neutralisation titres was substantially reduced when values were expressed relative to those of either of the two candidate international standards. Stability of 16/284 and 16/322 maintained for 6 months at different temperatures showed no significant loss of activity (relative to that at −20 °C storage temperature) at temperatures of up to +20 °C. Based on these results, 16/284 was established as the 1st International Standard for antiserum to RSV, with an assigned unitage of 1000 International Units (IU) of anti-RSV neutralising antibodies per vial, by the WHO Expert Committee on Biological Standardisation, with 16/322 suitable as a possible replacement standard for 16/284.
McDonald, J. U., Rigsby, P., Dougall, T., & Engelhardt, O. G. (2018). Establishment of the first WHO International Standard for antiserum to Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Report of an international collaborative study. Vaccine, 36(50), 7641–7649. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.10.087