Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine

Genomics of severe flu

We ultimately aim to identify targets for effective new drug treatments for severe flu.

Flu virus

Swine flu

Swine flu did not cause severe disease in most people, but of those who became critically ill, many were young, fit, and completely healthy in every other way. Tragically, many of them died. But more survived, and by comparing the DNA of these survivors with the rest of the population, we now hope to identify the genes that made some people extremely susceptible to flu.


Together with our collaborators around the world, we have discovered several genes that may be different in people who are extremely susceptible to flu. By better understanding these genes, and the biological processes that they are involved in, we aim to find new targets for effective drug treatments. Such treatments would not necessarily repair defects in patients' immune systems, but rather make the immune system behave a little more like a resistant immune system, and so make the patient more likely to survive.