Does influenza pandemic preparedness and mitigation require gain-of-function research?

Dillon C. Adam, Daniel Magee, Chau M. Bui, Matthew Scotch, C. Raina MacIntyre

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The risk and benefits of gain-of-function studies on influenza A have been widely debated since 2012 when the methods to create two respiratory transmissible H5N1 mutant isolates were published. Opponents of gain-of-function studies argue the biosecurity risk is unacceptable, while proponents cite potential uses for pandemic surveillance, preparedness and mitigation. In this commentary, we provide an overview of the background and applications of gain-of-function research and argue that the anticipated benefits have yet to materialize while the significant risks remain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-310
Number of pages5
JournalInfluenza and other Respiratory Viruses
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • influenza
  • pandemics
  • public health surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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