1. Epidemiology and Global Health
  2. Immunology and Inflammation
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Science Forum: A Global lmmunological Observatory to meet a time of pandemics

  1. Michael J Mina  Is a corresponding author
  2. C Jessica E Metcalf  Is a corresponding author
  3. Adrian B McDermott
  4. Daniel C Douek
  5. Jeremy Farrar
  6. Bryan T Grenfell
  1. Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, Department of Epidemiology, and Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, United States
  2. Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, United States
  3. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, United States
  4. Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, United States
  5. Vaccine Research Center, National Institutes of Health, United States
  6. The Wellcome Trust, United Kingdom
  7. Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, United States
Feature Article
Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e58989 doi: 10.7554/eLife.58989
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The goals of a Global Immunological Observatory, and the challenges involved in establishing such a body.

(A) The epidemiological process (at its simplest) can be captured as a set of flows from susceptibles (S) to infected individuals (I), which occurs at a rate defined by the numbers of infected individuals and the rate at which they encounter susceptible individuals (a function of human behavior) and then successfully transmit to them – these last two processes are here captured by the parameter β. Infected individuals may then recover (entering the R class), and may or may not then become susceptible again. Typical surveillance only captures the I class: innovations around a Global Immunological Observatory (GIO) would provide a window onto the 'dark matter' of epidemiology (that is, the S and R classes). (B) Establishing a GIO will involve addressing challenges related to funding and sustainability, global equity and ethics, data dissemination, and intellectual property.

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