The Seattle Flu Study

The Seattle Flu Study is a new major initiative beginning in 2019 to examine flu and other respiratory viruses and learn how they enter into a city, how they spread, and how they cause outbreaks in certain communities. Ultimately, the findings from this study will help to inform the development of new infrastructure systems to help prevent the spread of flu pandemics in Seattle and other metropolitan locations around the world. The Chu Lab is responsible for enrolling individuals at traditional sites of care (hospitals and clinics) as well as in community locations (transit stations, daycare facilities, homeless shelters, and college campuses). More information including kiosk locations and how you can participate can be found at

Maternal influenza immunization trial in Nepal

From 2011-2014 the Chu Lab enrolled over 3000 pregnant women in rural Nepal in an immunization trial and followed their progress for 6 months after childbirth, taking nasal swabs, blood and breast milk samples and demographic information for the study. The data collected is being used for a variety of studies looking at household transmission of viruses, mother-infant flu transmission, respiratory viral coinfections, serologic RSV infections, diarrhea and infant respiratory illnesses, cause of repeated rhinovirus infections and pneumococcal colonization correlated with influenza.


Transplacental antibody transfer in Alaska-Native mother-infant pairs 

Beginning in 2010, the Chu Lab enrolled mother-infant pairs in rural Alaska and Seattle Washington to compare transplacental RSV and influenza antibody transfer and examine RSV burden of disease factors. Historically, Native populations in Alaska experience a disproportionately high burden of RSV and influenza due to lack of plumbing and hospital crowding, and RSV-associated infant hospitalization rates are 3 times higher than the general U.S. population. Examining transplacental antibody transfer in these mother-infant pairs could help in the development more successful population-specific treatment plans.

Group Health RSV surveillance and Flu vaccine efficacy

From 2011-2016 the Chu Lab was involved in a Seattle-based Flu vaccine efficacy study, and enrolled outpatients with respiratory symptoms to study the clinical presentation of RSV and genetic diversity of RSV in adults. The data collected is also being used to study whole genome sequencing of RSV and Acute Respiratory Infections in pregnant women.

Seattle  Thinkstock

Seattle Thinkstock

Kateryna Kon

Kateryna Kon

Respiratory infections in hospitalized adults

Beginning in 2016, the Chu Lab has been collecting blood and nasal swab samples of adult inpatients at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle to study acute RSV and influenza infections. The data collected is being used to characterize clinical symptoms of flu vs. RSV and profile antibodies of both pathogens.