Influenza research at the human and animal interface
Report of a WHO working group
From 21 to 22 September 2006, WHO convened a working group of 22 laboratory directors and senior scientists leading research on influenza at the human and animal interface.
Discussion focused on four main topics: methods for the detection and diagnosis of human infections, the use of vaccines and antiviral drugs to protect humans, current findings from animal surveillance in countries and regions with recent outbreaks, and factors governing the virulence and pathogenicity of H5N1 viruses. Issues explored ranged from explanations for the severity of this disease and its tendency to affect younger people, through the role of migratory birds in virus spread, to the possibility that genetic factors might influence transmissibility of the virus among humans.