Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the current gold-standard technique for respiratory viruses screening, includinginfluenza A and B detection and strain genotyping. At FISABIO-Public Health in Valencia, Spain, they routinely perform real-time RT-PCR screening of local hospital influenza-like illness (ILI) / severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) cases to determine the viral disease burden in different patient groups. Influenza detection and typing data are used in a local case-positive control-negative Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness (IVE) study, which is later pooled with other sites within the framework of the Global Influenza Hospital Surveillance Network (GIHSN). Sequencing and molecular epidemiologyof influenza-positive hospital ILI/SARI casesfrom vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are also performed to explore antigenic drift in detail. Finally, the potential public health impact of further improvements of molecular screening and virus sequencing (i.e. whole genome and next-generation sequencing) will be discussed.
Presenter: Dr. F. Xavier López-Labrador
F. Xavier López-Labrador is a senior investigator of Spain´s National Healthcare System. He holds an MSc and a PhD (Microbiology) from the Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona Medical School. He completed a Postdoctoral fellowship in immunology at Stanford University Medical School. Upon his return to Spain, he held a tenure-track Investigator position at the National Healthcare System (Instituto de Salud Carlos III), first in the Microbiology Service of the La Fe University Hospital and later in the Center for Public Health Research (FISABIO-Public Health) in Valencia. He was also an Associate Professor of Microbiology at the University of Valencia. He is a member of CIBER-ESP (Spanish Network for Epidemiology and Public Health), and is also a member of the Spanish Society for Virology, Spanish Society for Clinical Microbiology, European Society for Clinical Virology and the American Society for Microbiology. His main interests are hepatotropic and, more recently, respiratory viruses.
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