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HOME > Osong Public Health Res Perspect > Volume 2(Suppl 1); 2011 > Article
Articles Perspective of Influenza Research in Korea NIH
Chun Kang
Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives 2011;2(Suppl 1):S6-S6.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2011.11.025
Published online: November 30, 2011
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Division Influenza Virus, Korea National Institute of Health, Osong, Korea

Copyright ©2012, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License () which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Until 2000 when the Communicable Diseases Control Law was revised, influenza has been considered as one of the neglected disease in Korea. The vaccine coverage was low and there were no reliable statistics about influenza. With the revision of the Law, influenza was grouped as group III disease which needs surveillance and Korea Influenza Surveillance Scheme (KISS) was launched on September of 2000.
While the surveillance system has been established and improved with following seasons, diagnosis and related research has been diversified and intensified. With the successive outbreak of SARS and avian influenza outbreaks from 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2010, diagnosis of influenza has been improved by the introduction of genetic detection from RT-PCR to multiplex RT-PCR. During the 2009 pandemic we introduced the multiplex realtime RT-PCR and it is being used now which can differentiate seasonal influenza (H1, H3 and B), A(H1N1)pdm09, and H5. For the serological diagnosis, conventional hemagglutination inhibition and microneutralization has been established with standardization for each virus using various red blood cell or variation of HA antigen preparation. Also to minimize the possible infection by highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV), microneutralization using pseudotype virus with appropriate HA gene of HPAIV has been developed.
Also with the increased the need for molecular analysis based on sequence, Influenza Sequence and Epitope Database (ISED) was developed in 2008 and expanded the contents from seasonal influenza to avian influenza with various hosts. The result of genetic characterization to detect the variation in antigenic sites and antiviral drugs resistance has been widely used for the surveillance and also for the treatment of influenza patients since the worldwide spread of drug resistant virus.
With the outbreak of novel 2009 pandemic virus, the diagnosis and the characterization of the first case in Korea was completed within a week and several research projects were immediately launched in the diagnosis, vaccine development, and pathogenicity study using the influenza A/Korea/01/ 2009(H1N1) virus. Especially for 2009 pandemic virus, mammalian pathotyping using mouse and ferret has been performed in BSL-3 facility in KNIH. Prepandemic period was the preparatory for capacity building for intensified influenza research in KNIH. In post pandemic period, research field will be more focused on vaccine and pathogenesis of influenza in human based on the strong infrastructure built through previous research products as well as capacity building in diagnosis and surveillance to detect new influenza virus in humans.

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