Multidisciplinary Studies to Improve Understanding of Influenza Transmission

Influenza Virus
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The National Institutes of Health is seeking applications for collaborative, multidisciplinary research to comprehensively investigate the dynamics and drivers of influenza transmission between humans.

The ability of influenza viruses to efficiently spread between humans directly impacts the magnitude and severity of seasonal epidemics and worldwide pandemics. Understanding how influenza transmission occurs and how to prevent transmission is critical for public health preparedness efforts. However, fundamental knowledge gaps in our understanding of influenza transmission remain. These gaps include the relative contribution and impact of each transmission mode (i.e., fomites, respiratory droplets, aerosols); the relationship between symptoms, shedding and transmission; and the impact of viral, host, physical, and environmental factors on transmission. Methodological limitations in viral detection, collection, quantification and characterization across transmission modes have hindered progress in this field.

The objective of the new funding opportunity is to support development and improvement of devices, assays, and methods that will enable better sampling and characterization of flu viral particles from the air and fill existing knowledge gaps in understanding the factors that drive human-to-human influenza transmission.

Applications are sought that propose well-integrated, cross-disciplinary research teams with diverse expertise that may include but is not limited to: pathogen biology, host genetics, immunology, modeling, environmental health, physical science, engineering and behavioral science.

This initiative will support both animal and human studies that examine the dynamics and drivers of human-to-human influenza transmission.

Additional details are available at RFA-AI-20-008 (U19). The closing date for applications is Sep 10, 2020.

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