Laboratory of Acute Respiratory Viral Infection Risk Factor Assessment

                              Director     Professor Anna A. Sominina, MD, PhD

                              Dir.  telephone:   +7 (812) 499–15–29

                              Lab. telephone:    +7 (812) 499–15–28



The laboratory is recognized in Russia as a center for studying the immunogenicity of new influenza vaccines, produced by various pharmaceutical companies, and the properties of new vaccine strains for the production of live influenza vaccines.

Main activities

  • Implementation of influenza and acute respiratory infection (ARVI) laboratory surveillance in Russia and provision of information about current influenza activity to high level health care authorities
  • Study of risk factors behind severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and fatal outcomes among children and adults (based on influenza/ARVI sentinel surveillance)
  • Identification of the most significant pathogens among influenza viruses and other ARVI pathogens which lead to the development of SARI requiring hospitalization
  • Molecular genetic analysis of the structural features of modern respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) strains circulating in St. Petersburg; determination of RSV’s significance in SARI etiology according to surveillance data from different age groups via the sentinel surveillance and traditional surveillance systems
  • Analysis of anti-influenza collective immunity levels in various Russian cities; standardization of research based on the development of guidelines and on the preparation of serum standards; creation of a low-temperature serum bank
  • Evaluation of the immunogenicity of new influenza vaccines using hemagglutination inhibition and microneutralization reactions featuring antiviral monoclonal antibodies; additional evaluation of vaccine protective properties according to sentinel surveillance
  • Participation in World Health Organization (WHO) global influenza surveillance programs, including future pandemic preparedness
  • Low latency information exchange, including weekly submission of Russian data to WHO (FluNet) and WHO EURO (Flu News Europe) electronic databases
  • Development and introduction into practice of new influenza diagnostic strains and sera for use in identification of newly isolated influenza virus strains
  • Development and testing, in cooperation with the Laboratory of Biotechnology, of new influenza virus identification methods, at the stage of isolation in cell culture, using cell-ELISA featuring new and previously developed monoclonal antibodies

The laboratory’s work is carried out in connection with two international projects

  • “Maintenance of Influenza Surveillance Capacity in Russia” (grant established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA)
  • “Scientific study of the role of influenza viruses in the development of severe forms of acute viral respiratory infection in hospitalized patients” within the framework of the “Global Influenza Hospital-based Surveillance Network” (St. Petersburg, Russia branch); international project (grant established by the Foundation for Influenza Epidemiology, France)