Latest influenza science and recommendations presented in new release

October 05, 2006

A new publication offers some of the most current and definitive information on pandemic and seasonal influenza, from antivirals and vaccines to public health resources and animal health.

The Journal of Infectious Diseases (JID) has published a supplement to the Nov. 15 issue dedicated to influenza featuring leading experts summarizing current research and recommendations in their fields. Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), discusses the latest areas of research at the Institute. In another article, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, describes her agency's plan for pandemic control as "a network of shared responsibility from the national to the global level."

Frederick G. Hayden, MD, FIDSA, and Andrew T. Pavia, MD cover treating and preventing influenza using antivirals--and viral resistance to them. Kristin L. Nichol, MD, MPH, MBA, and John J. Treanor, MD, write about challenges in developing, manufacturing, and delivering pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines. The genetic factors that made the 1918 pandemic flu virus so virulent are described by Adolfo García-Sastre, PhD, and Richard J. Whitley, MD, FIDSA. Ten more articles, discussing subjects from disease surveillance to special human populations to animal disease issues, complete the collection.

The supplement concludes with a set of recommendations by the authors for better preparing the nation for an influenza pandemic, including: boosting vaccine research, development, manufacturing, and distribution; investing in research into new treatments; and developing coordinated public health response plans. Most of all, the authors say, national influenza pandemic preparations need clear national leadership, ample and sustained funding, and a sense of urgency.

The supplement is based on presentations from the conference, "Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza 2006: At the Crossroads, A Global Opportunity," held Feb. 1-2, 2006, in Washington, DC. The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), NIAID, CDC, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) sponsored the conference. It was funded through unrestricted educational grants from Gilead Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche Laboratories, MedImmune, Sanofi Pasteur, Biota Holdings, and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals.

IDSA and the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) have also released a policy brief, "Pandemic Influenza: The State of the Science." It covers similar material, but is aimed at a lay audience of policymakers and members of the media.

The JID supplement is available at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JID/journal/. The IDSA/TFAH issue brief is available on the IDSA website, www.idsociety.org.
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Founded in 1904, The Journal of Infectious Diseases is the premier publication in the Western Hemisphere for original research on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases; on the microbes that cause them; and on disorders of host immune mechanisms. Articles in JID include research results from microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, and related disciplines. JID is published under the auspices of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Based in Alexandria, Va., IDSA is a professional society representing about 8,000 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases. For more information, visit www.idsociety.org.

Infectious Diseases Society of America

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