GISAID joins the G20 Joint Finance & Health Ministerial Meeting

Under the motto ‘Strengthening Global Health Architecture’ a delegation from GISAID attended the G20 Finance and Health Ministers meeting hosted by Indonesia, to discuss with G20 Member States’ and its partners their vision for GISAID+ (GISAID plus).

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H5N1 Bird Flu Circulating in Dairy Cows across the U.S.

The clade of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses causing outbreaks in wild and domestic birds around the world, is now appearing in dairy farms across several U.S. states.

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China has consistently shared H7N9 virus data, WHO says


When human cases of H7N9 virus infection were first detected in 2013 in China, genetic sequence data was shared rapidly by the China CDC via GISAID -a publicly accessible database for genetic sequences and other data of influenza viruses to further support the global efforts on the development of vaccines, diagnostics and risk assessment. According to the WHO, since then, the China CDC has continued to upload genetic sequence data of recent H7N9 viruses into GISAID. read more

G20 Health Ministers recognize the importance of GISAID

At the invitation of Germany’s Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe, held under the auspices of Chancellor Angela Merkel, the first meeting of Health Ministers of the Group of Twenty leading industrialized and emerging economies (G20) took place in Berlin between 19-20 May 2017. Under the banner of “Together Today for a Healthy Tomorrow – Joint Commitment for Shaping Global Health”, the two-day meeting focused on combating global health hazards. In their closing communiqué the G20 Health Ministers recognized the importance of the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) in regard to data sharing. 

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Huffington Post, January 12, 2017

A Global Health Epidemic Is A Ticking Time Bomb -
But Virus Databases Can And Are Helping To Save Lives


The global experience with recent outbreaks, however, reveals some big obstacles that can get in the way of rapid data sharing. Scientists may wish to withhold data until their scholarly studies are published; governments may be fearful about the repercussions of being associated with a major new outbreak; there may be intellectual property considerations around such data; countries sharing data will want to have access to new medicines and vaccines that are eventually developed; and it also remains challenging to find funders willing to pay for international databases. How to rapidly share scientific data about deadly viruses is thus an international diplomatic challenge dogging many global health organisations and scientists today.

But it is possible to develop new data sharing mechanisms that can work. At the University of Sussex we have for the first time analysed the work of GISAID, an initiative helping international scientists overcome the challenges involved in exchanging information about influenza viruses - including ones that could cause deadly global pandemics. read more

Bloomberg Businessweek, April 10, 2013

CDC Races to Create a Vaccine for China's Latest Bird Flu Strain


Using technology unavailable a decade ago, when the deadly SARS virus struck, China’s CDC quickly sequenced the whole genomic code of the H7N9 virus—then submitted that information to GISAID, a publicly available international database for influenza researchers.  “Using that genetic information, we could compare it to viruses we had already seen to check if we had a vaccine that would be a good match,” explains Michael Shaw, the U.S. CDC’s associate director for lab science, influenza division. read more

Nature News, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu Goes Global


New influenza virus tests pandemic emergency preparedness.

Researchers are scrambling to study the evolution and spread of the novel H1N1 strain of swine influenza whose leap to humans was officially confirmed last week. The possible imminent onset of a swine-flu pandemic is also testing international preparedness plans put into place to deal with something else: the much-feared H5N1 avian flu virus that has spread across Asia, Europe and Africa since 2003. 

Gene sequences of the virus samples, for instance, have been promptly shared on the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) database. read more

International Herald Tribune, October 3, 2008

Influenza scientists, WHO face off in virus row


JAKARTA, Indonesia - It's a David and Goliath battle that could affect the world's ability to monitor diseases and develop lifesaving vaccines. The key issue: Should Indonesia and other developing nations have a say over crucial genetic data about their own deadly viruses?

An international network of top influenza scientists says yes, arguing that is the best way to speed development and research, but they are running into resistance from within the World Health Organization, which opposes letting countries keep intellectual property rights to virus samples they provide for research. read more

Associated Press, May 16, 2008

Indonesia Agrees to Hand Bird Flu Information to New Online Database


JAKARTA, Indonesia - Indonesia says it will start sharing all information about its bird flu cases with a new public database, a move experts say will help monitor the disease following the country's yearlong standoff with the World Health Organization.

The free, online site launched Thursday, 18 months after strategic adviser Peter Bogner and 77 influential scientists and health experts wrote a letter to Nature magazine calling for information about bird flu to be shared more quickly and openly the birth of the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data, or GISAID. read more

Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2006

A Nonscientist Pushes Sharing Bird-Flu Data


HONG KONG -- Last week, when Peter Bogner announced he was leading an effort to get bird-flu scientists to share important data, the academic journal Science summed up the scientific community's reaction: Under a photo of Mr. Bogner, it ran the caption, "Peter who?"  Mr. Bogner and the scientists are confronting a thorny problem that often pits scientific ambition against the demands of public health, whether with bird flu or other diseases.