NHMRC opened a Targeted Call for Research (TCR) into Biotoxin-related illnesses on 21 July 2021. Applications closed on 15 September 2021.

This TCR aims to produce evidence that will improve our understanding of the origin and pathophysiology of biotoxin-related illnesses, such as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). This will assist in improving the diagnosis, treatment and management of individuals with biotoxin-related illness. 

This TCR implements Recommendation Six of the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport Report on the Inquiry into Biotoxin-related illnesses in Australia. On 10 March 2020, the Australian Government accepted the recommendation for NHMRC to conduct this research; the decision was supported by the NHMRC Research Committee and NHMRC.

The resultant TCR into Bio-toxin related illnesses aimed to support research that helps us to: 

  • Develop a scientifically valid, evidence-based understanding of the pathophysiology and aetiology of CIRS and other biotoxin-related illnesses.
  • Establish a case definition for CIRS and other biotoxin-related illnesses that will guide testing and diagnosis, including the identification of potential biomarkers.
  • Develop an evidence base that will underpin treatment and management strategies.

Resulting in outcomes that create: 

  • A better understanding of how people with chronic symptom complexes, such as those associated with exposure to biotoxins, can be more effectively diagnosed, treated and managed in the health system.
  • An improved research capacity in the field of CIRS and other biotoxin-related illnesses.