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Infectious disease research fund may promote lab testing

Category: Infectious Diseases

In the hopes of improving knowledge, testing and prevention, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a sector of the National Institutes of Health, has announced the awarding of about $208 million to two programs which support research in the field of human immunology and infectious diseases.

The grants were given to the Cooperative Centers for Translational Research on Human Immunology and Biodefense and the Immune Mechanism of Virus Control. Both programs aim to indentify new vaccines and drug targets for infectious diseases.

"A better understanding of how the human immune system responds to these infections should provide new approaches for developing prevention tools and therapeutics," said Dr Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID.

Researchers expect to use animal models to investigate immune and cell memory responses to viruses such as diphtheria, STDs and measles.

According to Dr Daniel Rotrosen, director of the NIAIS Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation, the programs will create the opportunity for "collaboration among investigators working toward the common goal of understanding the human response to infectious diseases," and developing measures that prevent infection.

Currently, the American Association of Tissue Banks recommends infectious disease testing as one method of disease control.

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