Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

New Methodology to Predict Pandemics

15.02.2013
Current Research Uses Smart Surveillance to Rapidly Identify Emerging Disease Threats

EcoHealth Alliance, the nonprofit organization that focuses on local conservation and global health issues, announced new research focused on the rapid identification of disease outbreaks in the peer reviewed publication, Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

The article, authored by leading scientists in the fields of emerging disease ecology, biomathematics, computational biology and bioinformatics, shows how network theory can be used to identify outbreaks of unidentified diseases. The strategy builds on the wealth of online surveillance data and increased reporting and tracking of emerging infectious diseases via the Internet.

Pandemics often first emerge in remote regions, and early in their development, the identity of the cause is often unknown. In many cases these events turn out to be known diseases that don't require emergency action, and cutting through the clutter and uncertainty to determine which outbreaks are important is a critical challenge.

The newly released research used a simple set of data collected at the earliest stages of an outbreak such as symptoms, time of year, and percentage of the population that died (the case fatality rate). This information was collected from 125 reports of outbreaks on 10 known infectious diseases causing encephalitis (brain or neural infection) in South Asia - a known 'hotspot' for new disease outbreaks.
The data was analyzed to examine whether outbreaks of the same disease clustered together, based on basic outbreak properties (symptoms, timing and case fatality rate). Results showed that diseases such as Nipah virus - an emerging and very lethal disease - showed distinct characteristic patterns within such a network and clustered separately to other more established diseases such as malaria and Japanese encephalitis. The team was then able to take outbreaks caused by unknown pathogens and provide a probable diagnosis for these 'mystery diseases'. The initial analysis shows a promising advantage to aid in predicting and preventing possible pandemic diseases that can result in devastating losses in life and global economic crises. "This application of network theory is exciting not only because it provides a fast, affordable method for associating undiagnosed outbreaks with a set of most likely known diseases, but perhaps most importantly because it provides a method for researchers to work with public health experts to identify potentially novel pathogen threats, as these agents will not fall into any of the known disease clusters and therefore can be easily identified," said Dr. Tiffany Bogich, Princeton University.

Often, new pandemics start as a few cases of an unknown disease in a remote region of the globe. After a few weeks or months depending on conditions, the disease continues to spread through the rapid movement of global travelers. As with the SARS outbreak, the virus incubated for a few months in China before it spread to Hong Kong, Canada and other points around the world. In 2009, the outbreak of H1N1 'Swine' flu circulated in Mexico for at least a couple of months before it was discovered as a real threat to public health. When Nipah virus caused outbreaks in pigs and farm workers in Malaysia, many health officials thought the disease was symptomatic of Japanese encephalitis. All of these examples illustrate the need to identify highly infectious diseases at the very earliest stage - when there are just a few cases - allowing public health officials to thwart these new viruses from spreading globally.

"This research may be critical to rapidly deciding which outbreaks are something completely novel and have pandemic potential, rather than a repeat outbreak of a known pathogen. It allows public health agencies to target their resources in the most efficient way, and helps protect us from new emerging diseases, which often erupt in remote corners of the Earth where it is sometimes very difficult to obtain vital information, let alone biological samples to test for various pathogens," said Dr. Peter Daszak, corresponding author and President of EcoHealth Alliance. "Another aspect that we are looking at is using this tool to pinpoint possible bio-terrorism, such an act will produce immediate symptoms that are unusual, and would likely light up on our network analysis," added Dr. Daszak.

This study was funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT, National Institutes of Health/National Science Foundation RAPID 'Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases' from the John E. Fogarty International Center, DTRA, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the New York Community Trust.

About EcoHealth Alliance
Building on over 40 years of groundbreaking science, EcoHealth Alliance is a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and safeguarding human health from the emergence of disease. The organization develops ways to combat the effects of damaged ecosystems on human and wildlife health. Using environmental and health data covering the past 60 years, EcoHealth Alliance scientists created the first-ever, global disease hotspots map that identified at-risk regions, to help predict and prevent the next pandemic crisis. That work is the foundation of EcoHealth Alliance's rigorous, science-based approach, focused at the intersection of the environment, health, and capacity building. Working in the U.S. and more than 20 countries worldwide, EcoHealth Alliance's strength is founded on innovations in research, training, global partnerships, and policy initiatives. For more information, please visit www.ecohealthalliance.org.

Anthony M. Ramos | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ecohealthalliance.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Understanding the Body’s Response to Worms and Allergies
24.04.2015 | University of Manchester

nachricht Caring for blindness: A new protein in sight?
22.04.2015 | NSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale)

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Elektromobilität: Ultraleichtes Kraftpaket für das elektrische Fliegen

Siemens hat einen einzigartigen Elektromotor entwickelt, der hohe Leistung mit einem minimalen Gewicht kombiniert. Durch konsequente Optimierung aller Komponenten stellt der neue Antrieb in seiner Klasse einen Weltrekord beim Leistungsgewicht auf. Dadurch kommt der routinemäßige Einsatz von elektrisch angetriebenen Flugzeugen oder Helikoptern einen großen Schritt näher.

Manchmal lässt sich eine technische Revolution ganz knapp in einer einzigen Zahl zusammenfassen. In diesem Fall lautet sie: fünf Kilowatt pro Kilogramm – das...

Im Focus: Fast and Accurate 3-D Imaging Technique to Track Optically-Trapped Particles

KAIST researchers published an article on the development of a novel technique to precisely track the 3-D positions of optically-trapped particles having complicated geometry in high speed in the April 2015 issue of Optica.

Daejeon, Republic of Korea, April 23, 2015--Optical tweezers have been used as an invaluable tool for exerting micro-scale force on microscopic particles and...

Im Focus: Von Innen nach Außen: Rätsel der galaktischen Scheiben gelöst

Ein Team von Astronomen unter der Leitung von Ivan Minchev, Wissenschaftler am Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), hat mithilfe hochmoderner theoretischer Modelle das Rätsel um die Entwicklung der Galaxienscheiben gelöst. Die jetzt veröffentlichte Studie zeigt, dass sich Sternpopulationen gleichen Alters durch Galaxienkollisionen nach außen hin ausweiten. Ähnlich wie die Blüten einer Rose reichern sich diese Populationen schichtweise in der Galaxie an und formen so allmählich die dicke Scheibe.

„Wir können nun zum ersten Mal zeigen, dass dicke Scheiben nicht nur aus alten Sterngenerationen bestehen, sondern – in einem größeren Abstand zum...

Im Focus: NOAA, Tulane identify second possible specimen of 'pocket shark' ever found

Pocket sharks are among the world's rarest finds

A very small and rare species of shark is swimming its way through scientific literature. But don't worry, the chances of this inches-long vertebrate biting...

Im Focus: Morbus Crohn: neuer Entstehungsmechanismus entschlüsselt

Bakteriengemeinschaften verursachen Darmentzündung

Morbus Crohn zählt zu den chronisch-entzündlichen Darmerkrankungen (CED). Bei der Krankheit spielt die genetische Veranlagung eine Rolle - und offenbar auch...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Internationale Familienunternehmensforschung

24.04.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Internationaler Tag der Immunologie am 29. April 2015

24.04.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Wirtschaftsempfang 2015: WissensRÄUME

24.04.2015 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Simulation und virtuelle Welten: Virtueller Messerundgang mit dem Smartphone

24.04.2015 | Informationstechnologie

Elektromobilität: Ultraleichtes Kraftpaket für das elektrische Fliegen

24.04.2015 | Energie und Elektrotechnik

Siemens integriert Sitop-Stromversorgung in Prozessleitsystem Simatic PCS 7

24.04.2015 | Messenachrichten