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•   Preclinical trials and testing of broad-spectrum, small-molecule, antiviral compounds, with General Research Laboratories, Inc.

•   Investigations of siRNA as a broad-spectrum anti-influenza therapy, with General Research Laboratories, Inc.

•   Acute respiratory infection and influenza surveillance and epidemiologist training, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including the transfer of 12 Russian influenza strains.

•   Development of prototype live-attenuated cold-adapted pandemic influenza vaccines based on avian strains, with the nongovernmental organization PATH Vaccine Solutions.

•   Development of a DNA vaccine based on a series of eukaryotic expression plasmids encoding the fusion proteins containing epitopes of influenza, with Cure Laboratory, Inc.

As one current and future example of bioengagement, a joint project with CDC was initiated in 2011, with the intention of continuation until 2016, devoted to the enhancement of influenza surveillance capabilities of the institute. The initial activities have included the following:

•   Antigenic and genetic analyses of viruses, which were isolated in Russia, in MDCK cells and chicken embryos.

•   Determination of susceptibility of circulating viruses to antivirals, using fluorometric tests and M2 gene sequencing.

•   Sentinel surveillance for SARI, to indicate the main groups of risk, determine the most pathogenic circulating influenza viruses, and evaluate vaccine effectiveness.

•   Increase in capacity of the institute to identify novel influenza A viruses, with special attention to subtypes H5 and H7 viruses.

SOURCE: Research Institute of Influenza, May 2012.

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