Influenza sero-surveillance at the animal-human interface: a feasibility study in high-risk groups
What does this project mean for future pandemics?
- Several animals carry viruses that are known or potential threats to human health.
- Some birds and mammals can serve as genetic ‘mixing vessels’ (genetic reassortment) of both seasonal human and animal (avian and swine) influenza viruses.
- Influenza viruses from animals or viruses reassorted in animals can cause serious disease in humans and have caused the last four influenza pandemics.
- SARS and MERS coronaviruses are other infections (presumed to have originated from bats) that spread to humans through other animal species.
- Given the potential danger posed by infectious agents jumping between species, ongoing surveillance is needed to investigate outbreaks of illness in people who closely associate with animals (both livestock and wild animals).
- This project will develop strong stakeholder engagement with people and organisations involved in working with animals and/or infectious diseases emergencies.