MISMS: a global collaboration to study influenza

  • 18-year program to advance evidence-based policies for influenza control in the US and globally
  • Includes basic research and training workshops led by a core team of scientists at Fogarty International Center (FIC), based at the US National Institutes of Health.
  • MISMS staff annually organize training workshops to teach methods of data analysis, including time-series, modeling, and phylogenetic analysis
  • Develops global collaborations to facilitate data-sharing and large-scale studies of disease dynamics
  • Focus on low- and middle-income countries

MISMS training workshop in South Africa, 2018

Examples of how MISMS research impacted policy decision-making:

Improving influenza vaccination strategies during pandemics based on the age-shift from elderly to younger adults

Seasonal influenza vaccine campaigns in children, who are key vectors of transmission in communities, can provide indirect protection to vulnerable seniors with low immune responses to vaccination and high mortality.

Advising countries in tropical and sub-tropical regions on whether to use the Northern hemisphere or Southern hemisphere vaccine formulation, based on the seasonal timing of their influenza epidemics, which tends to be more variable than the winter epidemics seen in temperate regions.

Recognizing role of humans in transmitting influenza viruses to animals (reverse zoonosis), including transmission of pandemic H1N1 viruses from humans to swine and to zoo animals.

Timing of waves of previous pandemics, NEJM 2009 

Recent Updates

Excess Deaths from COVID-19

MISMS researcher Dr Cecile Viboud published a study in JAMA Internal Medicine estimating that the number of deaths due to any cause increased by approximately 122 000 from March 1 to May 30, 2020, which is 28% higher than the reported number of COVID-19 deaths.  

How COVID took hold in North America and Europe

MISMS researchers Dr Martha Nelson and Dr Andrew Rambaut coauthored a study that tracked how the pandemic emanated from China and took hold in North America and Europe in early 2020. Links: Worobey et al, Science 2020 The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe and North America Featured in NIH Director’s Blog  

What can social networks tell us about the epidemiology of the 2019-2020 Coronavirus outbreak?

MISMS staff use social network data to study the epidemiology of the COVID-19 outbreak in China in a study published this week in Lancet Digital Health.