About CNIC

  Chinese National Influenza Center was established in 1957 with a mission to strengthen the work of influenza surveillance and disease control. Since 1977, CNIC pioneered the work on the influenza ecology and surveillance in the mainland of China. In 1981, CNIC rejoined the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network (GISN) as a result of the restoration of the legal rights of China in WHO.

  CNIC is a technical unit of Chinese Center of Disease Prevention and Control. It is housed and managed by National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention (IVDC). Since 2005, CNIC was designated as State Key Laboratory in Influenza Research, as part of the key infectious diseases control unit.

  Since 1988, CNIC began to collaborate with USA CDC on influenza surveillance and introduced the molecular technology in the area of diagnosis, virology and epidemiology. Research capacity has been greatly expanded. We provides representative influenza virus isolates to WHO annually. In fact, almost 50% of global influenza virus vaccines strains came from CNIC.

  CNIC determined to increase the quality service of influenza surveillance after SARS. National Influenza Surveillance Network (NISN) was formed and diagnosis of human avian influenza was developed. Other areas of CNIC which are undergoing rapid development are bioinformatics, epidemiology, molecular virology and basic research.

History Contribution of Chinese National Influenza Center

  Over the 50 years of development, CNIC has been making significant contributions and achievements in the control of influenza pandemics in China and internationally, through the efforts of several directors in succession. Prof. Zhu Jiming was the first director of the CNIC and had laid out the foundation in the influenza research. The center was then headed by Prof. Guo Yuanji who further expanded the surveillance network and pioneered the work on the influenza ecology in China. As a consequence, CNIC has developed a strategic position in the control and research of both seasonal and pandemic influenza. The next 2 directors capitalized on these foundations and carry the same mission to build the milestones of the history of CNIC. Important achievements and contributions of CNIC are highlighted below.

  I Influenza ecology 


  • Systemic study of surveillance and ecology led by CNIC began in 1977. Animals in different sites were studied. Guangxi (chickens, ducks, pigs), Liaoning (wild ducks), Beijing (pigs and ducks), Beijing poultry processing factory (focused on domestic duck).
  • To serve as a reference laboratory for animal influenza virus and to provide support of reagents and technology in influenza detection and identification during 1997-2002.
  • Discovery of the transmission of avian influenza by wild ducks. During 1978-1980, infection rate of wild ducks in Dandong was 7.7%. More than 13 influenza subtypes were isolated, including H11N9, H7N2 and H7N7.
  • Discovery of the transmission of avian influenza by domestic ducks. Subtypes of H5N1, H7N3, H7N6 and H7N8 were isolated.
  • Contaminated water is the source of avian influenza infection. During 1978-1980, infection rate of drinking water by duck is 16 % and more than 22 subtypes could be isolated.
  • Discovery of pigs as natural host for influenza C, challenging the old thoughts of human as the only host for influenza C.


  II Influenza etiology 


  • Proof of the genetic assortment is the common feature of all influenza virus. Presence of H2N2 subtype in human indicated a reassortment between H3N2 and H1N1. Reassortment between different lineages of influenza B is possible.
  • Discovery of the occurrence of A/PR/8/34 (H1N1)-like virus still in humans. Nineteen PR8-like isolates were isolated during 1995-1998.
  • Discovery of ‘O’-phage virus of H3N2 and H1N1 subtypes.


  III Outbreak Investigations and pathogens confirmation 


  • Confirmation of the horse influenza virus H7N7 subtype in horses at Russia and Inner Mongolia and it was not a local strain.
  • Identification of H11N9 as the cause of death in duckling with sinusitis.
  • Evidence of transmission of H1N1 into pigs in 1990.
  • Confirmation of H3N8 to in horse infection and death in 1989. H3N8 was confirmed again in horse deaths in period 1993-1994.
  • Confirmation of H5N4 in the chickens in 1994.
  • Confirmation of H5N1 in geese in Guangdong 1996.
  • Confirmation of H9N2 in humans in 1998-1999.
  • To discard the possibility of H5N1 in a SARS suspected case.


  IV Influenza prevention 


  • A purified trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine was successfully developed in collaboration with Lanzhou Institute of Biological Products in 1998.
  • Screening for antiviral components from Chinese herbs began in 1960-1970. Milkvetch Root, andrographolide, and chisandra propinqua contained active substances. Novel antiviral components such as interferon and amantadine were also compared.


  V International contributions 


  • CNIC provides representative influenza virus isolates to WHO annually. Twelve influenza strains from China had been recommended by WHO as vaccine strains since 1988. In fact, almost 50% of global influenza virus vaccine strains come from CNIC.
  • Influenza viruses of different subtypes are frequently found in China and are multi-emerging.





  Former Director  

  Jiming Zhu(1957-1984)  

  Yuanji Guo(1984-2003)  

  Hone Xu (2003-2004)  


  Current Director  

  Yuelong Shu (2004-present)  




  Address: 424 Room, IVDC, 155 Changbai Road, Changping District