Prof. Raina MacIntyre (MBBS Hons 1, M App Epid, PhD, FRACP, FAFPHM) is Head, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW and Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology. She leads a research program in control and prevention of infectious diseases, spanning epidemiology, risk analysis, vaccinology, mathematical modelling, public health and clinical trials. She has an interest in health ageing, equity of healthcare for the elderly and ethics surrounding these issues.Prof. MacIntyre has over 250 per reviewed publications in medical journals and sits on national and international expert committees in infectious diseases. She has received many awards including the Sir Henry Wellcome Medal and Prize from the Association of Military Surgeons of the US, The Frank Fenner Award for Research in Infectious Diseases, and the PHAA National Immunisation Award.Prof. MacIntyre is best known for research in the detailed understanding of the transmission dynamics and prevention of infectious diseases, particularly respiratory pathogens such as influenza, as well as vaccination and vaccine-preventable infections. She is an international leader in adult and elderly vaccination. She currently heads a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence titled “Immunisation in under studied and special risk populations: closing the gap in knowledge through a multidisciplinary approach”. Within this, she also leads the stream on frail elderly vaccination. She is also a founding director of ARM, which provides field epidemiology infectious diseases response capacity to the Asia-pacific region, and also leads a new NHMRC Centre for Epidemic Response.
April 14, 2016
Up to one in ten adults and three in ten children are infected with influenza each year.The vaccine we have used for decades, the trivalent vaccine (TIV), protects against three strains of flu. But in 2016, for the first time, the publicly funded vaccine program will offer the quadrivalent flu vaccine (QIV), which protects against four instead of three strains of flu...
February 03, 2016
Microcephaly causes babies to be born with smaller than usual heads and can affect brain development. There's no definitive link between microcephaly and the virus, but Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology at the University of New South Wales, Raina Macintyre, says there's some research pointing to the link...
January 05, 2016
English physician Edward Jenner developed the first vaccine more than 200 years ago to protect against smallpox. It was needle-free, involving arm-to-arm inoculation with the vaccinia virus.Vaccinology as a discipline and a public health intervention developed exponentially in the mid 20th century. Vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio were the first to have a major impact on disease burden globally...
October 17, 2014
The paper, authored by Raina MacIntyre of the University of New South Wales’ School of Public Health and Community Medicine and colleagues, writes that while “Ebola virus is predominantly spread by contact with blood and body fluids, there is some uncertainty about the potential for aerosol transmission.”...
October 14, 2014
American nurse Nina Pham is the second health worker to contract Ebola outside of West Africa while caring for patients with the virus, despite using personal protective equipment. Authorities were quick to attribute lapses in protocol for Pham’s and Madrid nurse Teresa Romero Ramos' infection. But inadequate guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE) may equally be to blame...
2015Facemasks are recommended for diseases transmitted through droplets and respirators for respiratory aerosols, yet recommendations and terminology vary between guidelines. The concepts of droplet and airborne transmission that are entrenched in clinical practice have recently been shown to be more complex than previously thought. Several randomised clinical trials of facemasks have been conducted in community and healthcare settings, using widely varying interventions, including mixed interventions (such as masks and handwashing), and diverse outcomes. Of the nine trials of facemasks identified in community settings, in all but one, facemasks were used for respiratory protection of well people. They found that facemasks and facemasks plus hand hygiene may prevent infection in community settings, subject to early use and compliance. Two trials in healthcare workers favoured respirators for clinical respiratory illness. The use of reusable cloth masks is widespread globally, particularly in Asia, which is an important region for emerging infections, but there is no clinical research to inform their use and most policies offer no guidance on them. Health economic analyses of facemasks are scarce and the few published cost effectiveness models do not use clinical efficacy data. The lack of research on facemasks and respirators is reflected in varied and sometimes conflicting policies and guidelines. Further research should focus on examining the efficacy of facemasks against specific infectious threats such as influenza and tuberculosis, assessing the efficacy of cloth masks, investigating common practices such as reuse of masks, assessing compliance, filling in policy gaps, and obtaining cost effectiveness data using clinical efficacy estimates.
2015Increasing trends in incidence of herpes zoster (HZ) have been reported in Australia and internationally. This may reflect the impact of childhood VZV vaccination programs introduced universally in Australia in late 2005. The objective of this study was to evaluate changes in incidence of HZ and PHN in Australia over time, and associated healthcare resource utilisation.
A randomized clinical trial of three options for N95 respirators and medical masks in health workersAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
2013We compared three policy options for the use of medical masks and N95 respirators in healthcare workers (HCWs). Objectives: A cluster randomized clinical trial of 1,669 hospital-based HCWs in Beijing, China in the winter of 2009–2010. Methods: ...
2013Abundant, indirect epidemiological evidence indicates that influenza contributes to all-cause mortality and cardiovascular hospitalisations with studies showing increases in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and death during the influenza season...
2013The shifting global demography and ageing of populations worldwide brings with new challenges for the health care, and an imperative for healthy ageing and preventive health strategies for adults. Immunization is the low hanging fruit for healthy ageing, and yet under-utilized for various reasons, including waning immunity in the elderly, lack of RCT data in this age group, and lack of provider confidence in vaccines for the elderly. The elderly people have a higher incidence of infection and more severe and serious consequences of infection. Diseases such as influenza, pneumococcal disease and herpes zoster have long been recognized as causing a high burden in the elderly, but evidence is also emerging for other infections such as pertussis being a major cause of the morbidity in this age group. Now, there are several vaccines which can prevent major infectious diseases in the elderly. To improve uptake of these vaccines, elderly vaccination should be viewed through a different lens to pediatric vaccination, accepting that vaccines are less immunogenic in the elderly. The population health impact of vaccines in the elderly, despite of immunosenescence and lower immunogenicity, is still likely to be high given the increased disease incidence. Vaccination is an important and readily available means of prevention in the elderly.
Area of Expertise
Epidemic Response and Emerging Infectious Diseases
Personal Protective Equipment
Fellow: Royal Australian College of Physicians
Fellow: Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine
Fellow: Royal Society of New South Wales
Health and Wellness
Health Care - Providers
Royal Australasian College of Physicians : Medicine, Public Health
The Australian National University : Epidemiology
University of Sydney : Medicine