ZIS – Identifying risk factors for zoonotic influenza transmission 2008-2011

Background

This is a controlled, 3-yr prospective cohort study of 350 adults living in H5N1- endemic regions of Romania for evidence of zoonotic influenza virus infections. Serial sera and swab specimens from participants who develop influenza-like illnesses will be evaluated for evidence of infection with zoonotic influenza viruses. Participants’ animals with possible influenza virus infections will also be studied. We propose research projects with four primary aims: (1) To assess the likelihood of previous zoonotic influenza transmission among persons in high-risk occupational or recreational settings, in H5N1-endemic geographical areas, (2) to determine risk factors for zoonotic influenza A infection among human populations in high-risk occupational settings. Risk factors to be examined will include: demographic (eg. age, gender, geographical location, etc.), occupational (eg. person-years of animal exposure, type of exposure, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), etc.), and behavioral (smoking, habits in preparing food, handling ill animals, antiviral therapy, receipt of influenza vaccines, etc.), (3) to learn if the human cohort study subjects are asymptomatic or experience clinical symptoms when infected with zoonotic influenza virus, and (4) to characterize H5 influenza isolates associated with human or animal infection through cDNA sequence studies.

Specific objectives:
– to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors for previous zoonotic influenza infection
– to determine risk factors for incident zoonotic influenza infection
– to characterize zoonotic influenza isolates from humans and animals
– to better understand specific immunological processes associated with H5N1 infection
National coordinator: Babes-Bolyai University from Cluj-Napoca

Funder:  U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity contract W81XWH-06-C-0414

Total budget: 109.355 Euro

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