Influenza remains an important focus of research within the STAR-IDAZ International Research Consortium on Animal Health (IRC), driven by the urgency to expedite enhanced control measures for animal influenza outbreaks. Influenza outbreaks are currently having a major impact at global level, causing major economic losses in the poultry sector. According to WAHIS data, 112 countries and territories reported disease presence over the last 5 years, underscoring the widespread nature of these outbreaks. Moreover, the pervasive nature of influenza viruses across an expanding array of mammals, coupled with sporadic zoonotic transmissions, raises concerns about their potential to incite a human influenza pandemic.

The STAR-IDAZ IRC has recently released an Executive summary of priority research needs on influenza. It is the result of extensive work of experts in the field.

In 2021, in collaboration with USDA-ARS, STAR-IDAZ IRC commissioned an Animal Influenza Research Review providing a comprehensive overview of the previous six years’ research in animal influenza. This report combines the latest research updates and insights from prominent scientists, offering a comprehensive understanding of global animal influenza research at the forefront.

The outcomes of this report fed a gap analysis workshop held on June 14-15, 2022, at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa. This workshop leveraged expert opinions, recent and ongoing research, existing and developing countermeasures, and their efficacy to identify critical knowledge gaps.

Building on this gap analysis, three online workshops were conducted on 30-31 January and 1 February 2023, aimed at crafting research roadmaps for control strategies, diagnostics, and vaccine development for influenza. These roadmaps delineate the necessary steps to efficiently direct research efforts towards addressing future outbreaks.


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