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Prof. Raina MacIntyre - International Federation on Ageing. Sydney, New South Wales, AU

Prof. Raina MacIntyre Prof. Raina MacIntyre

Head, School of Public Health and Community Medicine & Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology | University of New South Wales

Sydney, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA

Prof. MacIntyre is an international expert in infectious diseases, vaccinology (especially for the elderly) and biosecurity.






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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.

Areas of Expertise (7)




Epidemic Response and Emerging Infectious Diseases


Personal Protective Equipment


Accomplishments (5)

PHAA National Immunisation Achievement Award (professional)


Peter Baume Public Health Impact Prize (professional)


UNSW Medicine Dean's Award (professional)


Sir Henry Wellcome Medal and Prize (professional)


The Frank Fenner Award for Advanced Research in Infectious Diseases (professional)


Education (3)

Royal Australasian College of Physicians: FRACP, FAFPHM, Medicine, Public Health 1995

The Australian National University: M App Epid, Ph.D., Epidemiology

University of Sydney: MBBS Hons1, Medicine 1987

Affiliations (3)

  • Fellow: Royal Australian College of Physicians
  • Fellow: Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine
  • Fellow: Royal Society of New South Wales

Languages (1)

  • English

Media Appearances (7)

inking about getting the 2016 flu vaccine? Here’s what you need to know

The Conversation  online


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...

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US health officials report sexually transmitted case of Zika virus in Texas

ABC  online


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...

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Taking the ouch out of vaccines: the future of needle-free vaccination

The Conversation  online


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...

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'Plainclothes Man' Near Ebola Patient at Risk?

Seeker  online


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.”...

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How are nurses becoming infected with Ebola?

The Conversation  online


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...

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The Scary Truth about Ebola

Nine MSN  online


Interview about Ebola preparedness

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Legionnaires disease - fatal outbreak not over

Daily Telegraph  print


Commentary on Sydney outbreak

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Event Appearances (2)

Elderly vaccination

Australian Primary Care Nursing conference 2016  Melbourne


Emerging Bioterrorism Threats

POlice TEchnology Forum  Canberra


Sample Talks (1)

Elderly vaccination

Workshop on Elderly Vaccination, 2014, Melbourne https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohalm1O5CSc

Research Focus (1)

Infectious diseases and vaccinology research

Professor Raina MacIntyre is Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW and Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology. She runs a highly strategic research program spanning epidemiology, vaccinology, biosecurity, mathematical modelling, public health and clinical trials in infectious diseases. She is best known for research in the detailed understanding of the transmission dynamics and prevention of infectious diseases, particularly respiratory pathogens such as influenza, tuberculosis and other vaccine-preventable infections. She has led the largest body of research internationally on face masks and respirators in health care workers. She and co-authors were the first to challenge the WHO and CDC guidelines on Ebola PPE in early September 2014 - the CDC changed their guidelines on Oct 21 2014. Her role in driving change during the Ebola epidemic is commented on in the New Atlantis. She has a particular interest in adult vaccination with a focus on the elderly. Specific vaccination interests include influenza, pneumococcal disease, HPV and herpes zoster. She has done recent work on vaccine effectiveness of influenza vaccine against myocardial infarction. She leads a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in immunisation for high risk populations. Her face mask research has focused on health care workers and hospitals. She has also done research on using risk-analysis methods for analysing emerging infectious diseases outbreaks such as MERS-CoV. From December 2015 she leads a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Epidemic Response which is international and multi-sectoral, and will address gaps in global systems for epidemic response.

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Research Grants (1)



Details available at research profile

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Courses (3)

UNSW Public Health and Health Management Courses

The School of Public Health and Community Medicine (SPHCM) is a leader in public health, community medicine, health management and health systems strengthening. The school’s mission is to promote health, prevent disease and to strengthen health systems, and is at the forefront of research and education. Our staff bring experience from multiple disciplines and have experience in local, national, and international settings. The School has a commitment to capacity enhancement and human resource development and contribute to building leadership capabilities among health personnel and health service managers and policy makers in Australia and further afield. We have capabilities in relation to education and training, research and service. SPHCM is a dynamic, international community of staff, alumni, practitioners and students. An underlying principle at UNSW Medicine is the link between teaching and research; our operating environment further integrates research and teaching with health practice both in Australia and internationally. Our staff greatly value the opportunity to teach whilst pursuing their research. Many of our staff are doctors, public health specialists, and other health care professionals who are major contributors to the delivery of clinical care, population health, policy and health services management. We have a broad mix of students in public health, health management, international public health and infectious diseases from many professional backgrounds, with metropolitan, rural and international students all represented in large numbers. Education and training We offer a diverse range of postgraduate programs in public health, health management, international public health and infectious diseases intelligence, including a range of specialisations, dual degrees, and the opportunity to do research degrees. Our educational programs are aligned with the School’s flagship areas of research strengths. Graduates of SPHCM form a network of highly skilled health leaders in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, trained to work at the interface of education, research and translation of evidence into policy and practice. Our teaching and learning methods encourage a student- centred approach. We deliver high quality teaching to our diverse body of students in the school across a range of programs. In addition our teaching: Is responsive to the needs of both international and local students, building on the experiences our students br

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Bioterrorism andHealth Intelligence

The concept of a “nuclear winter” has long been understood, but in uncharted new scientific territory in the modern world, there is little awareness of the risk of a “biological winter”, how this risk should be addressed, and what new systems, legislation and approaches are needed to mitigate unprecedented challenges to biosecurity. This course is for professionals involved in any aspect of bioterrorism preparedness and response, who wish to be intellectually challenged, to think outside the square, to gain insight into quantum changes in science which pose a biosecurity risk, to understand the different perspectives of sectors involved in response, and to gain new critical skills which can be applied in their professional practice. Breaking new ground in education Our course is presented in five modules, with a mini movie in 5 episodes as the trigger for each module. We offer interactive, fully online participation or a face to face experience - you choose! See the trailer and teaser for the movie. Don’t have a background in health? We cater for all needs and include a pre-course module which will provide you the required background in infectious diseases, public health and epidemiology. Overview This course presents an innovative new approach to critically evaluating risks and responses to biosecurity threats to human health in the modern age. Our systems, thinking, training, legislation and policies have lagged far behind momentous changes in science, leaving us vulnerable to population-level harm from bioterrorism. Synthetic viruses and genetic engineering of pathogens are a reality, with a rapid acceleration of dual-use research of concern (DURC), which is research intended for good which may also be used to cause harm to humans. The public availability of methods for DURC genetic engineering, risks of laboratory accidents, coupled with the insider threat, poses an unprecedented risk for global biosecurity. This course covers bioterrorism past, present and future; case studies in risk analysis, risk mitigation, prevention and response; distinguishing natural from unnatural epidemics; surveillance tools, rapid intelligence and analysis methods; International health regulations, governance, insider threat and ethical frameworks; and response (decontamination and protection of responders). Hear from expert international speakers from the FBI, NSW Police, China CDC, Australian Army, Defence Science and Technology Group, University of Texas Medic

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Infectious Diseases Intelligence

Introduction Infectious diseases continue to threaten humanity. The emergence of novel human pathogens and old pathogens in new environments has tested the bounds of existing infectious diseases intelligence generation and response capacity. Recent experiences with infectious diseases management has seen new and expanded roles for military, health agencies, international organisations, NGOs and other stakeholders, all of whom should have an in-depth grounding in infectious diseases intelligence. This course is for professionals wanting to gain an in-depth understanding of the public health intelligence of infectious diseases, who wish to extend themselves with diverse real-life scenarios to gain new skills which can be applied in their professional practice. Overview Infectious diseases intelligence refers to the understanding of the complex epidemic patterns of infectious diseases and the application of this knowledge to effective disease control, mitigation and prevention. Infectious diseases contribute significantly to the global burden of diseases and remain leading causes of death across the world. Emerging and re-emerging infections such as pandemic influenza, Ebola, dengue, chikungunya and MERS Corona Virus (CoV) pose an additional public health challenge and require coordinated and systematic disease control responses. A multi-disciplinary, public health approach is needed to understand the requirements for infectious diseases control at a population level. This course uses case studies to teach epidemiologic disease pattern recognition, identification of aberrant patterns, and interpretation of epidemic and surveillance data to inform disease control. An overview of field epidemiology methods and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases will also be provided. Case studies will include H7N9, MERS coronavirus and a salmonella outbreak. Course description The course will provide a grounding in epidemiological pattern recognition (epidemic, endemic, sporadic) in infectious diseases for first-outbreak responders, surveillance officers, or policy makers from medicine, allied health, public health, emergency management, law enforcement, military or others from relevant backgrounds. Case studies in risk assessment, risk mitigation, response and prevention will be studied. These will cover Ebola virus disease, MERS-CoV, avian influenza and salmonellosis; distinguishing natural from unnatural epidemics, surveillance tools, rapid intelligence and ana

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Featured Articles (5)

Facemasks for the prevention of infection in healthcare and community settings


2015 Facemasks 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.

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Increasing Trends In Herpes Zoster in Australia


2015 Increasing 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.

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A randomized clinical trial of three options for N95 respirators and medical masks in health workers

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

2013 We 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: ...

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Ischaemic heart disease, influenza and influenza vaccination: a prospective case control study


2013 Abundant, 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...

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Elderly Vaccination - the Glass is Half Full


2013 The 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.

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