March 8, 2013, by Charlotte Anscombe

DAY 1…Big brother style influenza transmission study begins…..

Today, a major study begins aimed at understanding how influenza is transmitted between humans. Twenty healthy volunteers have been inoculated with a human flu virus under controlled quarantine conditions. Over the next few days they will socialise with other volunteers and scientists from the Universities of Nottingham (UK) and Maryland (USA) working in partnership with collaborator Retroscreen, to study the patterns of transmission as they happen.

If the study is successful, the results will help public health policy makers in designing improved interventions to prevent flu transmission in healthcare facilities and households across the globe.

The study addresses an area of science acknowledged by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Institute of Medicine to be a major gap in global medical knowledge.

The Influenza transmission study is a collaboration between, the University, Retroscreen and several other academic groups from around the world. The entire programme is funded by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA. The study will aim to recruit over 130 volunteers and will be the largest ever investigation into influenza transmission.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, from the Health Protection and Influenza Research Group said “This is unique scientific work, conducted by an equally unique global consortium. The complex nature of the work that we are doing is truly ground-breaking. Many organisations including the WHO are eagerly awaiting our results. I feel incredibly privileged to be leading such a talented group of scientists.”

To hear more from Prof Van-Tam – see his podcast…

For further information on the EMIT study visit:

Posted in Health & medicine