The Indonesian government supports the formation of the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Database (GISAID) which aims to facilitate the exchange of data on avian influenza, a minister said.
Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari hoped the institution, which was formed at a World Health Organization (WHO) technical meeting on the practice of avian influenza sharing on March 26-28, 2007 in Jakarta, could bridge the application of transparent and responsible bird flu information exchange, a press release issued by the Health Ministry said.
"The initiative will help researchers across the world analyze the influenza spread to human beings and animals, and improve the national and international capabilities in quickly anticipating the virus threat," the minister said on Friday.
She said GISAID, which was formed by researchers and experts from different countries and sciences, is expected to provide data on genetic sequence of influenza isolates collected from across the world, which could be used as material for analysis to see the global picture on the virus spread and mutation.
Data needed in an effort to set up specific information on certain virus species, epidemiology, clinical, pathology and other data for laboratory tests could also be accessed from GISAID.
According to GISAID Director Peter Bogner, all parties could use the data provided by GISAID free of charge but prospective users were obliged to register, agree to exchange data and write down the origins of data from other researchers in their stories or researches.
The users must also be ready to jointly make analyses, publish results of their researches and not claim intellectual property rights on technology made based on data from GISAID.
The joint access can likely use technology for research and development of products like diagnostic instruments, antiviral medicines and influenza vaccines.
Indonesia is the hardest hit by bird flu in the world with a death toll of 71 people out of 91 cases.