Hot Topic Lecture – Déjà Flu: can science help the NHS cope with the annual burden of respiratory infections?

13 April 2018

Increased knowledge of the pathogenic evolution of influenza virus could be key in reducing strain on the NHS during winter months.

At the Microbiology Society Annual Conference today, Professor Derek Smith, Professor of Infectious Disease Informatics and Director of the Centre for Pathogen Evolution at Cambridge, and Dr Richard Pebody, head of the Respiratory Diseases Department at Public Health England, will reflect on the ways we can predict the pathogenic evolution of the influenza virus and how this can be applied to animal and human health.

Dr Pebody will discuss some key respiratory infections. He will cover their prevention and control from a public health perspective and discuss strategies to help the NHS deal with disease outbreaks.

The speakers will then discuss the unpredictable and challenging nature of the influenza virus, and why continual antigenic drift and intermittent episodes of antigenic shift make vaccine development so difficult.

Professor Smith will discuss how researchers can predict the pathogenic evolution of influenza and how this knowledge can be applied to human and animal health.

To conclude the discussion, the speakers will discuss the wider implications of influenza management techniques on society and the NHS.

This talk takes place today at the Microbiology Society Annual Conference at 9:00 in Hall 1.

Image: Thinkstock.