Center for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases

zebu cattle in East Africa
Global animal health experts testing for MERS CoV in Marsabit, Kenya.
Administering a nasal swap test on camel

The Paul G. Allen School recently launched the development of the Center for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID) in Nairobi Kenya to support response to outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19. The Center will have the capacity to address infectious disease outbreaks in eastern and central Africa (ECA) and have an immediate impact to save lives.

Operated though the Global Health – Kenya program, CREID will conduct timely studies to characterize new pathogens and develop diagnostic reagents, as well as supporting clinical and socio-cultural research that will lead to implementation of more effective prevention and control measures for Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs).

Directed by Dr. Kariuki Njenga, the center is developed in partnership with Emory University, Washington University at St. Louis, Charité-Universitätsmedizin in Berlin, Germany, and the Institute of Tropical Medicine-Antwerp, Belgium. CREID will address significant knowledge gaps in current research regarding what drives disease emergence, while considering high human density, diversity of wildlife species, and forest vegetation as key factors in occurrence of EIDs.

The Center is made possible by $7.6 million in funding over five years from the United States’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is part of a network of ten centers worldwide.

Local, regional and international partners are critical to the success of CREID – ECA. Utilizing our partnerships with the University of Nairobi and Kenya Medical Research Institute gives us an excellent starting platform and regional hub. The WSU-Global Health Kenya will build upon its long-established partnerships with agencies that coordinate human and animal outbreak responses in the region, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
Map of Africa indicating where field studies are happening