PhD students are in the process of working with WHO performing funded projects to look at pandemic preparedness across Europe and Asia as well as reasons for acceptance and refusal of flu virus vaccine.
A WHO report is available
Pandemic influenza surveillance research
A detailed investigation of patients hospitalised with pandemic influenza, working with the Flu-Clinical Information Network (FLU-CIN).
Two reports are now available in Thorax:
- Predictors of clinical outcome in a national hospitalised cohort across both waves of the influenza A/H1N1 pandemic 2009–2010 in the UK. Thorax doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2011-200266
- Risk factors for hospitalisation and poor outcome with pandemic A/H1N1 influenza: United Kingdom first wave (May–September 2009). Thorax 2010;65:645-651 doi:10.1136/thx.2010.135210
Subsequently, the group has built up a portfolio of research focusing on the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza pandemic. Published studies include:
- Nosocomial pandemic (H1N1) 2009, United Kingdom, 2009–2010.Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 Apr. doi: 10.3201/eid1704.101679
- Pre-Admission Statin Use and In-Hospital Severity of 2009 Pandemic Influenza A(H1N1) Disease. PLoS ONE 6(4): e18120. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018120
- Clinical and laboratory features distinguishing pandemic H1N1 influenza-related pneumonia from interpandemic community-acquired pneumonia in adults. Thorax 2011;66:247-252 doi: 10.1136/thx.2010.151522
- The Comparative Clinical Course of Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Women Hospitalised with Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 Infection.PLoS ONE (8):e41638.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041638
- Comparison of CATs, CURB-65 and PMEWS as Triage Tools in Pandemic Influenza Admissions to UK Hospitals: Case Control Analysis Using Retrospective Data PLoS One. 2012; 7(4): e34428. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034428
- Appendix A for the article 'Effectiveness of travel restrictions in the rapid containment of human influenza: a systematic review'.
Ongoing work includes: an investigation of clinical triage tools in pandemic situations; the impact of antivirals on influenza outcomes and a comparison of treatment and outcomes by ethnicity.
PRIDE (Post-pandemic Review of anti-Influenza Drug Effectiveness) study
The Post-pandemic Review of anti-Influenza Drug Effectiveness (PRIDE) study is an individual patient-level (IPD) global meta-analysis on the effectiveness of antiviral use on outcomes of public health importance during the 2009/10 A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic.
The aim of this study is to inform future public health policy for pandemic deployment of antivirals and elucidate the advantages gained during 2009-10.
We have conducted a systematic review of published studies on this topic which has been published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Our key finding was that early antiviral use was associated with a significant reduction in mortality compared to late or no antiviral use.
We have also established a collaboration of 81 research and surveillance groups across 38 countries to create a pooled dataset for the individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis. We have so far completed and published the IPD meta-analyses investigating the association between neuraminidase inhibitor antivirals and A(H1N1)pdm09-related mortality (published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine), and A(H1N1)pdm09-related pneumonia (published in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses)
Visit the PRIDE website for more information on this study.
EMIT (Evaluating Modes of Influenza Transmission) study
The HPIRG is strategically focused on influenza transmission and leads and coordinates the multi-disciplinary EMIT consortium with partners from the UK, USA, Australia and Canada.
The EMIT consortium was awarded major grant funding in October 2011 from the US Centers for Disease prevention and Control (CDC) to further develop quarantine-based human influenza challenge-transmission studies, which will disentangle the relative contribution of droplet nuclei (aerosols), large droplet and contact transmission of influenza in humans.
Publications and media
FLU-CAT study - Evaluation and refinement of pandemic influenza community assessment tools
The aim of this study is the real time refinement and validation of criteria and tools used in primary care to aid hospital referral decisions for patients of all ages in the event of surge during an influenza pandemic.
This study is being carried out in partnership with Dr. M.G. Semple from the University of Liverpool and has been funded under an NIHR Pandemic themed research call.
Visit the FLU-CATS website for more information on this study.
Benzodiazepines and respiratory illnesses
The aim of this study is to investigate the association between benzodiazepines and the occurrence of and mortality from influenza, exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Benzodiazepines (e.g. valium [diazepam]) are widely prescribed drugs and on the World Health Organization list of essential drugs. Despite the longevity of clinical use, we know little about their effects on the immune system. Laboratory studies suggest that use of these drugs may increase the frequency of infections and death from these infections.
Here we wish to find further evidence for this by interrogating a large database based on General Practitioner records. If established in humans it will then be possible to (i) devise appropriate care pathways for patients taking these drugs and (ii) devise safer therapeutic alternatives.
This study is being undertaken by Georgina Nakafero as part of her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Jonathan Van-Tam and Dr. Puja Myles.
Nosocomial RSV systematic review
HPIRG is working with collaborators from Public Health England on a systematic review to describe the epidemiology of nosocomial respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) transmission events and the effectiveness of infection control measures to minimise further RSV transmission.
This review is currently underway and is expected to report findings in 2013.
Hepatitis B vaccination in prisons
We conducted a retrospective ecological study of hepatitis B vaccination in England and Wales over 2003-2010. Our results confirmed the significant progress made to extend the vaccination programme and improve overall median coverage. We identified statistically significant variation in coverage and uptake by geographical region and prison category.
We advocate further research activities to confirm and investigate potential explanations for our results.
- Beck CR, Cloke R, O’Moore E, Puleston R. Hepatitis B vaccination coverage and uptake in prisons across England and Wales 2003-2010: a retrospective ecological study. Vaccine 2012; 30: 1965-71.
The aim of this study is to describe the epidemiology of RSV and conduct a time series analysis to investigate the burden of this infection in Member States across the WHO/Europe region.
Sixteen Member States are collaborating with HPIRG to undertake this study, which is due to report in 2013.
Statins and perioperative mortality
This study has been funded by the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) to investigate the association between statin use and perioperative mortality in both cardiac and non-cardiac surgery patients.
This is an observational study using anonymised data from the Clinical Research Practice Datalink (CPRD). This study is being led by Dr Myles in collaboration with Dr Robert Sanders form Imperial College, London. Drs George Okoli and Sudhir Venkatesan are working on this project as Research Associates.
Blood pressure thresholds and perioperative mortality
This study has been funded by the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) to investigate the impact of blood pressure thresholds on perioperative mortality in non-cardiac surgery using anonymised data from the Clinical Research Practice Datalink (CPRD).
This study is being led by Dr Myles in collaboration with Dr Robert Sanders form Imperial College, London. Drs George Okoli and Sudhir Venkatesan are working on this project as Research Associates.
Malaria and pneumonia study: assessment of accuracy of various diagnostic approaches
This study, using both quantitative and qualitative research methods, aims to compare different early diagnostic approaches (for e.g. the WHO Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) guidelines; the gold standard diagnostic tests comprising microscopy in malaria and chest radiography in pneumonia) for malaria and pneumonia in children under the age of five years in Benin City, Nigeria.
This study is currently ongoing and is expected to report findings as from 2017.