Research & Intervention

Emerging Disease Detection

Predicting and controlling diseases that threaten lives

Most human infectious diseases come from animals

About three-quarters of deadly infectious diseases in humans originated in animal hosts.

  • Direct transmission. Some diseases, like SARS and West Nile virus, were transmitted directly to humans.
  • Species jump. With diseases like HIV and avian flu, mutations caused a "species jump."
  • Pathogens that infect us all. Many pathogens in the news, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria, infect both animals and humans.

University research makes early intervention possible

Global commerce helps disease spread quickly, so early intervention is critical to preventing or controlling transmission of animal pathogens. University researchers are identifying factors that enable pathogens to emerge, so that healthcare organizations can act quickly to prevent or minimize outbreaks.

How does intervention work?

Researchers use a two-pronged approach:

  • Testing for pathogens. Researchers conduct ongoing testing for emerging pathogens.
  • Supporting strategic monitoring. Researchers bring to light those mechanisms that will increase the ability to predict and respond to disease emergence.