039: Influenza

Created by Yipu Lin (WHO Influenza Centre)

NIMR has for many years been closely identified with research in influenza. At the NIMR farm at Mill Hill, ferrets were used to demonstrate in 1933 that influenza is caused by a virus. The establishment of the World Influenza Centre (WIC) at NIMR in 1948 founded one of the first WHO global disease surveillance networks, to track changes in the viruses. The X-ray crystal structure of the flu haemagglutinin, determined in 1981, provided a molecular explanation of antigenic variation and the basis for annual updating of influenza vaccines.