The epidemiology of influenza and its control

Lone Simonsen, Cecile Viboud, Robert J Taylor, Mark Miller*

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review


In this chapter, we highlight how recent advances in influenza epidemiology can inform strategies for disease control. Given the challenge of direct measurement, influenza epidemiology has benefited greatly from statistical inference from the analysis of large datasets regarding hospitalization, mortality, and outpatient visits associated with seasonal circulation of influenza viruses. These data have allowed comparison of the impact of influenza in various climates and the evaluation of the direct and indirect benefits of vaccination, the latter through the vaccination of “transmitter populations” such as school children, to achieve herd immunity. Moreover, the resolution of influenza epidemiology has undergone a leap to the molecular level due to the integration of new antigenic and viral genomic data with classical epidemiological indicators. Finally, the new data have led to an infusion of quantitative studies from the fields of evolutionary biology, population genetics, and mathematics. Molecular influenza epidemiology is providing deeper insight into temporal/spatial patterns of viruses, the important role of reassortment in generating genetic novelty, and global diffusion of virus variants – including the role of the tropics, as a source of new variants. Higher resolution, contemporary, and historic epidemiological data provide a more detailed picture of the effect of age and other host characteristics on outcomes, as well as better estimates of the transmissibility of pandemic and seasonal influenza viruses. New epidemiologic and virologic data from the current A/H1N1pdm 2009 pandemic improve our understanding of the emergence and establishment of new viral subtypes in human populations and their mortality and morbidity burden in the first years of circulation. Re-examination of observational studies of vaccine effectiveness in seniors is leading to reconsideration of seasonal and pandemic vaccine priorities, while mathematical modelers have developed tools to explore optimal strategies for mitigating on-going and future pandemics. The field of influenza epidemiology has rapidly progressed in the past decade and become truly multidisciplinary. Progress could be sustained in the next decade by further interdisciplinary studies between virology, evolutionary biology, immunology, and clinical outcomes.
TitelInfluenza Vaccines for the Future
RedaktørerRino Rappuoli, Giuseppe Del Giudice
ISBN (Trykt)978-3-0346-0278-5
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-3-0346-0279-2
StatusUdgivet - 2011
Udgivet eksterntJa
NavnBirkhäuser Advances in Infectious Diseases

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