The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Emerging Pandemic Threats Predict Project: Towards a Proactive Paradigm for Early Disease Detection and Response
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2015
Kirsten Gilardi1, DVM, DACZM; Christine Johnson1, DVM, PhD; Tracey Goldstein1, PhD; William Karesh2, DVM; Peter Daszak2, PhD; Nathan Wolfe3, PhD; Damien Joly3, PhD; Amanda Fine4, VMD, PhD; Sarah Olson4, PhD; Suzan Murray5, DVM, DACZM; Jonna Mazet1, DVM, PhD
1One Health Institute, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA, USA; 2EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY, USA; 3Metabiota, San Francisco, CA, USA; 4Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, NY, USA; 5Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA
Most emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in people originate in wildlife and have arisen in the developing world. Population growth and environmental change bring people into contact with wildlife in unprecedented ways and increasing frequency, yet many nations lack the resources and infrastructure necessary to detect and respond to EIDs in a timely, effective manner. The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT project, led by the UC Davis One Health Institute and the PREDICT consortium (EcoHealth Alliance, Metabiota, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Smithsonian Institution), is advancing global capacity for EID detection and control. Launched in 2009, to date the PREDICT consortium has humanely sampled more than 56,000 wild animals (primarily primates, bats, and rodents) with human contact, and has detected 169 known viruses and 815 novel mammalian viruses, including dozens closely related to known causes of human disease. As well, PREDICT has played a key role in investigating the cause of human and wildlife disease outbreaks, including several caused by Ebola virus and yellow fever. In the second five-year phase of the project (2014–2019), the focus is now on further elucidating potential EID transmission pathways and spillover risk. Sampling of people and livestock is being conducted concurrently with wildlife sampling at high-risk interfaces involving wildlife value chains, animal agriculture intensification, and landscape conversion for commercialization in order to document pathogen sharing and spillover mechanisms. In addition, human behaviors that increase risk for exposure to EIDs are being documented in order to inform recommendations for reducing the potential for disease emergence and pandemics. While core PREDICT objectives center on protecting human health, wildlife conservation benefits include improved diagnostic laboratory capacity and greater governmental awareness and investment in wildlife population management.