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Respiratory Infections Focus Area

Respiratory Infections Surveillance Activities

The Respiratory Infections Focus Area supports routine surveillance of viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens, advanced characterization of respiratory pathogens (to include sequencing), vaccine effectiveness analyses, and a activities designed to examine a wide array of viral respiratory pathogens associated with increased severity, transmission, and pandemic potential.

Pathogens of interest include:

  • Human & avian influenza
  • SARS-CoV-2 & novel coronaviruses
  • Adenovirus
  • Enteroviruses/rhinoviruses
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

The RI Focus Area END STATE is increased global respiratory surveillance capacity through an integrated and collaborative GEIS laboratory network conducting surveillance across human and animal populations, ultimately to improve the health and readiness of U.S. Forces through the prevention, mitigation, and control of the transmission of respiratory pathogens.

Importance of RI Surveillance within the U.S. Military

Military populations are at high risk for acute respiratory infections, primarily among recruits and deployed personnel. The living conditions under which U.S. military members operate are frequently austere, crowded, and stressful, which makes these individuals particularly vulnerable to infection and transmission of respiratory pathogens compared to civilian populations. Due to the highly transmissible, ever-evolving (e.g., influenza and coronaviruses) and increased likelihood of ‘spillover’ from animals to human populations, viral respiratory pathogens present a true risk of the emergence of a novel respiratory pathogen and/or variants of circulating pathogens with pandemic potential. Thus, continued global respiratory surveillance is essential to enhance global health security by coordinating global surveillance networks that promote rapid detection of respiratory infections.

RI Focus Area Surveillance Categories

Human Respiratory Surveillance

The RI Focus Areas seeks to prioritize collection of respiratory surveillance data that can influence empiric treatment selection and inform prevention and mitigation efforts related to disease transmission. Surveillance of influenza and coronaviruses are key priorities due to the potential for severe disease and widespread transmission, which poses a threat to FHP.

Animal Influenza Surveillance

The RI Focus Area encourages alignment of animal influenza surveillance with the GEIS Strategic Plan One Health framework. The data from animal-focused surveillance activities can act as an early-warning for respiratory outbreaks or to identify novel pathogens with the potential to spill-over into humans, which is a potential threat to FHP.

Key Reach Back Partners & Support

Partner Support
Defense Centers for Public Health DOD Global Respiratory Pathogen Surveillance Program Respiratory pathogen surveillance, viral pathogen sequencing and advanced characterization
Naval Health Research Center Laboratory-based Febrile Respiratory Illness surveillance
Naval Medical Research Center Pathogen discovery, sequencing and advanced characterization
U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease Pathogen sequencing and advanced characterization, Bioinformatics
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research- Viral Diseases Branch Respiratory disease threat identification, Next Generation Sequencing, and advanced characterization

See what GEIS is doing to combat febrile and vector-borne infections and antimicrobial resistant infections.

If you are involved with the Department of Defense medical community and are interested in partnering with GEIS, or if you would like more information, please contact us.

Last Updated: February 05, 2024
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