The Royal Society & The Academy of Medical Sciences, November 20, 2006

Pandemic influenza: science to policy


Epidemiology and surveillance: 3.2.1 Data sharing

Greater sharing of data would accelerate research on the virus.  We recommend that genetic, antigenic and pathogenic data relating to new avian viruses, especially H5, H7 and H9 subtypes, should be made widely and rapidly available. In particular, samples of virus isolates should be made available as a matter of urgency to bona fide laboratories for research and development purposes.

In a letter to Nature, 70 scientists proposed the creation of a global initiative on sharing avian flu data that would promote the sharing of data via public databases within six months of it being analysed and validated (Bogner et al 2006). Such sharing of virus strains is an essential aspect of international collaboration and pandemic preparedness. We recommend that the UK government supports the global initiative on sharing avian influenza data and ensures that government and publicly funded laboratories put in place plans to publish all surveillance data (R12).

Copyright © 2006 The Royal Society  ISBN-13: 978 0 85403 635 6