Pathogen Discovery in PREDICT Human and Wildlife samples to Detect and Identify Viruses Present, Both Known and Novel

Investigator: Charles Chiu, MD, PhD
Sponsor: Global Viral Forecasting Initiative

Location(s): China; Bangladesh; Indonesia; Malaysia; Mexico; Brazil; Colombia


Zoonotic diseases - or those that can be transmitted between animals and humans - represent approximately 75 percent of the newly emerging diseases currently affecting people. In the context of globalization and expansive trade and travel, these diseases can travel very quickly, posing serious public health, development and economic concerns.

In an effort to identify and respond to new zoonotic diseases before they spread to humans, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) established its Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program. The EPT program consists of four projects: PREDICT, RESPOND, IDENTIFY, and PREVENT.  The PREDICT project seeks to identify new emerging infectious diseases that could become a threat to human health. PREDICT partners locate their research in geographic "hotspots" and focus on wildlife that are most likely to carry zoonotic diseases - animals such as bats, rodents, and nonhuman primates.