Transmission of respiratory viruses: from basic science to evidence based options for control
Given the speed with which viruses transmitted by the respiratory route spread globally (e.g. SARS, the 2009 influenza pandemic, MERS), epidemics caused by these viruses pose the greatest threats to global public health. Surprisingly, little is known about the mechanisms by which these viruses are transmitted; much of what is believed to be known being based on dogma than “fact”. Such knowledge gaps include the relative importance of contact, fomites, and air-borne (large droplet vs. small droplet) spread; the aero-biology of virus transmission; what interventions prevent such transmission; the role of viral “quasi-species” in transmission; and viral / host determinants of adaptation of animal viruses for transmission in humans. In turn, these knowledge-gaps compromise the impact and rational use of non-pharmaceutical interventions for infection prevention and control.
Ongoing work addressing some of these gaps in knowledge tends to occur within individual silos, by pathogen (e.g. influenza, RSV, rhinovirus, measles, MERS) or by experimental approach (e.g. those working with experimental animal models; basic virology; epidemiology; aero-biology; infection control). This conference aims to cut across these divisions to bring together researchers working with different viruses and using different experimental approaches. We expect these interactions to deepen understanding and to foster collaborations internationally.
Abstract submission deadline: 20 February 2017
Early bird registration deadline: 31 March 2017