NCIRS Seminar Series

NCIRS Seminar Series 2017 #5 - Wednesday 23rd August 2017
Varicella Zoster Virus Vaccines: Preventing Chicken Pox & Shingles

We will hear from two international experts at the next NCIRS seminar focused on Varicella Zoster Virus.
A/Prof Kristine Macartney (Deputy Director, NCIRS) will provide an overview of the impact of varicella vaccination in Australia, and the introduction of the live-attenuated Zoster vaccine, and Prof Tony Cunningham, AO (Executive Director, WIMR) will speak on the clinical development and potential impact of the new non-live, adjuvanted, subunit (HZ/su) vaccine, Shingrix.

Time: Wednesday 23rd August 11am-12pm
Location: Seminar Room 1 and 2, CMRI Building, 214 Hawkesbury Road, Westmead, NSW

REGISTER HERE (for catering please)

NCIRS Seminar Series 2017 #4 - Wednesday 26th July 2017
Tuberculosis & the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine: global burden and Australian immunisation programs

In this seminar held on Wednesday 26th July we heard from Professor Ben Marais on global TB disease burden issues and Dr Frank Beard on the BCG vaccine and evaluation of Australian immunisation programs.

Video resources

1. Talk 1: Tuberculosis in children by Professor Ben Marais

 2. Talk 2: The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine & Australian immunisation programs by Dr Frank Beard

Professor Ben Marais is a paediatrician and paediatric infectious diseases specialist with an interest in global health. He is internationally renowned for his work on childhood and multi drug-resistant (MDR)-tuberculosis (TB). He serves on the executive committee of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Tuberculosis Control and is a founding member of the Australasian Tuberculosis Forum. He is a strong advocate for Australia to take a leadership role in coordinating enhanced TB and MDR-TB control efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. More broadly, as deputy-Director of the Marie Bashir Institute he works toward creating a dynamic multi-disciplinary research community in infection, immunity and biosecurity.

Dr Frank Beard is a staff specialist public health physician who heads up the coverage, evaluation and surveillance team at NCIRS and has a conjoint academic appointment as Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health, University of Sydney. He graduated in medicine from the University of Auckland and then worked as a GP in Sydney for 15 years before undertaking his speciality training. After becoming a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine in 2004, he moved to Queensland and worked for 8 years in the Communicable Diseases Unit. He joined NCIRS in 2013. His main interests are in the epidemiology of vaccine preventable disease and immunisation program evaluation.

NCIRS Seminar Series 2017 #3 - Wednesday 24th May
Maternal Immunisation against Pertussis: Latest evidence

Maternal vaccination in the third trimester of pregnancy is now the preferred strategy for protection of infants in the “immunity gap” between birth and three-months of age. This strategy was however implemented in the absence of evidence from clinical trials, and many questions about the details of its effects remain.  

In this seminar Prof. Peter McIntyre (Director, NCIRS) gave an overview of the background on maternal immunisation against pertussis and present some recent evidence from the UK and California. Dr Nathan Saul (Epidemiologist, Vaccine Preventable Diseases at NSW Health) presented breaking data on effectiveness from a NSW case-control study conducted by all public health units in 2015-16.

Video resources

1. Talk 1: Maternal immunisation against pertussis – background and current evidence by Prof Peter McIntyre, NCIRS

 2. The presentation given by Dr Nathan Saul will be made available once the data presented is published - Coming soon

NCIRS Seminar Series 2017 #2 - Wednesday 22 March
All Creatures Great and Small: A One Health Approach to the Problem of Q Fever

Q fever, caused by Coxiella burnetii, is a serious zoonotic disease in humans with a worldwide distribution. Many species of animals are capable of transmitting C. burnetii, and consequently all veterinary workers are at risk for this disease. Australia is the only country to have a licensed Q fever vaccine (QVax ). This vaccine has been readily available and used in Australia for many years in at-risk groups, however still has 600 notifications across Australia annually.

This presentation provided an overview of the sources of Q fever in our animal populations, new data on longevity of immunity post vaccination, as well as information on the safety of the Q fever vaccine in young adults and barriers to uptake of the vaccine.

NCIRS Seminar Series 2017 #1 -  Wednesday 22 February
Pneumococcal vaccines for elderly adults

The first NCIRS seminar covered the internationally controversial area of pneumococcal vaccines for elderly adults. Persons over 65 have a progressively increasing incidence of pneumococcal invasive disease and pneumonia but both available vaccines have limitations. In Australia the PBAC has recommended, in principle, moving from 23 valent polysaccharide vaccine to 13 valent conjugate vaccine to prevent pneumonia.

Epidemiologists Prof. Robert Booy and Dr Sanjay Jayasinghe presented on the issues on Wednesday 22nd February

Video resources

1. Introduction by Prof. P. McIntyre and Talk 1: Pneumococcal disease epidemiology in the elderly & 13vPCV efficacy by Sanjay Jayasinghe


2. Talk 2: Comparing the effectiveness of polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine in bacteremic and non-bacteremic pneumonia: Focus on pneumococcal pneumonia by Prof. Robert Booy


3. Questions & Discussion: Pneumococcal Vaccines for Elderly Adults