Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of severe respiratory disease in infants and calves. Bovine RSV (bRSV) is a natural pathogen for cattle, and bRSV infection in calves shares many features with the human infection. Thus, bRSV infection in cattle provides the ideal setting to evaluate the safety and efficacy of novel RSV vaccine strategies. Here, we have evaluated the efficacy and safety of modified vaccinia virus Ankara (rMVA)-based vaccine candidates, expressing the bovine RSV-F protein, either or not in combination with the G protein, in colostrums-deprived SPF calves born by caesarean section. Vaccination induced bRSV-specific IgG and CD8 T cell responses. Importantly, no IgE responses were detected. After bRSV challenge, rMVA vaccinated calves experienced less severe symptoms of lower respiratory tract disease compared to the mock-immunized control group. Immunized animals showed reduced pulmonary virus loads, and no eosinophilic infiltration or enhanced respiratory distress. In conclusion, candidate rMVA/bRSV vaccines induced protective and safe immune responses in calves. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.