OFFLU Global Animal Influenza Research Agenda
OFFLU and STAR-IDAZ have partnered to develop a strategic agenda for animal influenza research. The initiative takes a global perspective and aligns the priorities of key stakeholders with interests in funding research, conducting research, and benefitting from the outputs of research.
Paris, 8-9 April 2014 – OFFLU and STAR-IDAZ convened a group of 60 key contributors to the field of influenza including animal health and public health scientists; representatives from animal production and trade (poultry, egg, and pork); the pharmaceutical sector; equine sports; policy advisers; and representatives from research funding bodies.
By way of structured group work and using feedback from a survey sent out prior to the consultation, the experts developed their vision for animal influenza research and identified areas of research which are currently of highest priority.
The group identified whether each priority was short-term applied research (studies needed to determine effective intervention strategies with potential for immediate impact); longer-term applied research (studies most likely to reduce disease burden (economic and health)); or priority basic research (studies which may ultimately lead to effective intervention strategies or reduced disease burden).
In general three strong themes came out of the consultation
1) Research to identify the multifactorial determinants of health risk from influenza viruses is needed to support risk assessment, surveillance, and intervention strategies.
2) Integrated approaches to influenza research and surveillance across species (at the interface between animals and humans, and between animal species) should be taken and surveillance findings should be shared rapidly.
3) There is a need to improve technologies to develop more effective and universal influenza vaccines and diagnostics.
Research priorities may apply to a sector (poultry, pork, equine, wildlife or animal human interface), in which case this is specified, or cut across a number of these sectors. The priorities are not ranked in order of importance and categories of short-term applied, longer-term applied, and priority basic research, are considered to be of equal importance.