Throughout the world, acute respiratory infections are responsible for millions of deaths annually and are a leading cause of mortality in children. Even if not fatal, these infections can be debilitating and often result in hospitalization. Viruses such as influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and enterovirus are major contributors to this disease burden. Emerging viruses have also posed significant risks to human health, as demonstrated by the SARS coronavirus outbreak in 2003 and the recent emergence of the MERS coronavirus. This underscores the importance of effective respiratory virus diagnostic assays, vaccines, and antiviral therapies. In this presentation, we will summarize the impact of respiratory viral disease on global health initiatives; the latest efforts to control and prevent infections (e.g., the universal influenza vaccine); and the importance of authenticated viruses and derivatives in the development of diagnostic assays, vaccines, and antiviral therapeutics.
- Endemic and emerging respiratory virus infections represent a significant global heath burden.
- Understanding respiratory virus epidemiology and pathogenesis is critical for the development of antiviral therapies.
- Authenticated viral standards and derivatives are essential tools for the development and validation of novel preventative and therapeutic techniques.