Identifying Risks Factors of a Human-to-Human Transmissible Form of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1


The PLuS (Phoenix-London-Sydney) Alliance is a strategic partnership between Arizona State University, King's College London and UNSW Australia. The Alliance brings together the collective strengths and resources of these three leading international universities to develop sustainable solutions to society's global challenges around health, sustainability, social justice, and technology and innovation.

Brief Project Summary

The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus process a tremendous threat to population health. Commonly known as the 'bird-flu', the virus has infected 850 humans worldwide causing 449 deaths since 2003. The high case fatality rate and low number of infections are indicative of an influenza virus that has yet to efficiently transmit between humans. However, if H5N1 evolves readily transmissible human virus while maintain a high pathogenicity, a pandemic could kill millions (and even hundreds of millions) of people.

Fig.1 - H1N1 versus H5N1 pathology" by TimVickers.

This collaboration will seek to identify risk factors associated with genetic mutations of an efficient human-to-human transmissible form of HPAI H5N1 virus. We will perform a multidisciplinary and comprehensive in-silico approach to discern which factors such as livestock practices, vaccination strategies, and geographic areas are most likely to lead to the genetic mutations that are known to support human-to-human transmissibility. Through publication of our findings, health and agencies could implement strategies to reduce the likelihood of global transmission of H5N1 influenza

Project Team


Department of Biomedical Informatics

Matthew Scotch
Daniel Magee


Public health and Community Medicine

Raina Maclntyre
Chau Bui
Abrar Chughtai
Dillon Adam


Department of Informatics/Faculty of Natural and Mathematical Science

Kathleen Steinhofel
Peter McBurney
David Kohan Marzag√£o
Patrick Veenstra
Rayan Alnamnakany

Events and Updates

Below is a list of PluS Alliance events and conferences

Past Events

20 - 21 Apr 2017 PlusAlliance Symposium at KCL.

19 Apr 2017 Second meeting at KCL.

9 Jan 2017 First meeting at ASU.