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Preliminary Consultation on H5N1 Research Issues

Place: Geneva, Switzerland
Date: 16–17 February 2012

Recently, two unpublished research studies on the transmissibility of influenza A H5N1 viruses have raised urgent questions related to the two studies, as well as broader concerns related to the balance between scientific research and public concerns about safety.

Given the global relevance of these issues, WHO has been asked to facilitate a process to address the issues. WHO will hold a first technical meeting on 16 - 17 February to clarify key facts about the two research studies and the most urgent related issues.

Invited participants in this meeting will be people who have direct involvement or knowledge about these two studies, their review or oversight, or potential dissemination of results. Participants will discuss the specific circumstances and results of the two studies and will try to reach a consensus about ad hoc, practical actions to resolve the most urgent issues, particularly related to access to and dissemination of the results of this research.

Because many broader concerns that have been raised will not be addressed at this meeting, further consultation with wider input is anticipated at a later date to be determined. More details will be provided as they become available.

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