The NCIRD Influenza Division (ID) is seeking to initiate a cooperative agreement with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), Republic of South Africa, to conduct research studies on the epidemiology, disease burden, transmission, risk factors for hospitalization, and effectiveness of
vaccination and antiviral treatment for influenza and other respiratory diseases of public health importance.
South Africa’s Viral Watch Programme has collected nationally representative data on influenza circulation for nearly 25 years and is a key contributor of influenza viruses for determining the components of the Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccine.
In collaboration with NCIRD ID, South Africa has expanded their influenza surveillance activities to include respiratory hospitalizations in five of nine provinces following the 2009 pandemic.
This surveillance platform has allowed them to better understand some risk factors for severe disease; however, it has not generated significant data on the burden of influenza or influenza vaccine effectiveness in some groups targeted for vaccination, particularly pregnant women and their young infants.
This new cooperative agreement will allow NCIRD ID to expand collaborations with NICD to look at these and other at risk populations.