Today, the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza (a Russian Ministry of Health federal institution) is one of the leading scientific centres tasked with handling urgent issues in virology, epidemiology, viral pathogenesis, and clinical manifestations. The Institute also develops highly sensitive diagnostic reagents and effective drugs for the protection of the population from influenza and other dangerous viral infections.
The Institute as two additional centres: the Federal Centre for Influenza and Acute Respiratory Infections; and a World Health Organization National Influenza Center. These centres successfully function as integral parts of the global infection surveillance system.
The principle scientific activities of the Institute involve research on the molecular-genetic and phylogenetic characteristics of existing viruses, as well as the development of methods capable of predicting future variation patterns in influenza and other viral agents. Studies are underway to identify genetic determinants behind the pathogenicity of current and emerging viruses.
The Institute has developed a biochip infrastructure, including hardware and methods, that permits a wide range of studies. Protein and DNA biochips, and their associated protocols for use, have been developed. Enzyme immunoassay methods are being improved, and new highly sensitive diagnostic test systems for the detection of influenza and other acute respiratory infection pathogens are being developed. Those systems, including rapid diagnosis reagents based on monoclonal antibodies, are being developed and manufactured.
New influenza vaccines are being developed and tested. In addition to progress made in the areas of design and production, special attention is paid to vaccine safety. The promise and practicality of further studies of a recombinant, live attenuated, replication defective vaccine (Fluvac), based on the M2eHBc hybrid protein, have been shown.
Institute employees are searching for new antiviral drugs, developing them, and conducting chemical synthesis. Some of the new scientific trends that relate to drug development include:
The Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza includes a specialized clinic which provides a number of services, such as:
The Laboratory of Influenza Evolutionary Variability at the Institute maintains a collection of influenza and acute respiratory illness viruses. The collection provides interested organizations with human and animal influenza strains, as well as adenoviruses, coronaviruses, herpes viruses, respiratory syncytial viruses, and others.
The Institute, within the framework of partnership projects and agreements, is involved in international scientific and technical collaborations. These projects, in partnership with scientific institutes, World Health Organization National Influenza Centres, WHO Collaborating Centres, and other institutions, focuses on: influenza surveillance systems; molecular virology; genetic engineering; improvement of influenza diagnostic reagents; development and production of influenza vaccines; and the development and production of therapeutic drugs.
Cooperation between members of the Commonwealth of Independent States is expanding with regard to avian influenza and influenza A (H1N1) monitoring. On the basis of contractual agreements, expeditions and analysis of samples are jointly carried out, including exchange of strains, information, and specialists.
International conferences and symposia are organized by the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza, and employees take part in international scientific congresses, conventions, symposia, conferences, seminars, and meetings abroad. Methodical literature, monographs, compilations, and guides for doctors are published.
The Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza is both a scientific centre and a base for training highly qualified specialists via the academic post-graduate training system in several specialties: virology (03.02.02); epidemiology (14.02.02); infectious disease (14.01.09); and infectious diseases clinical residency. The Dissertation Council works at the Institute (D 001 043.01). Certification courses in the VIROLOGY specialty are conducted at the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza in conjunction with Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University. The Institute has a Scientific Council, which includes department heads, laboratory directors, and leading researchers of the Institute.