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Zoonotic diseases and global viral pandemics
Date:2/17/2014

provided yeomen service in this regard, but other options for the "collection and synergistic analysis of data from many sources and the dissemination of actionable information followed by timely decision-making" is the focus of this symposium. Molecular diagnostics, and more recently, Next Gen "deep-sequencing", provide greatly enhanced speed and capability for the detection of novel pathogens. However, it is crucial that "classical" microbiological techniques and expertise are not lost. For example, the traditional methods of virus culture, electron microscopy and detection of serologic responses were crucial in the detection and confirmation of the etiology of SARS1.

Rapid and early assessment of the transmission dynamics and disease severity is important for policy making and calibrated responses; the global response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic being a case in point2. Identification of the proximate sources of zoonotic infection provides actionable interventions to reduce risk1,3. For example, research on the transmission dynamics of avian influenza viruses within the live poultry marketing chain in Hong Kong provides evidence-based options for control of zoonotic disease caused by H5N1 and H7N9 avian influenza viruses4,5. Similarly, it is critically important to identify the source of zoonotic MERS coronavirus infection so relevant interventions may be applied to minimise such infection. Surveillance to better define the microbial diversity in domestic livestock and wild-life and research to better understand the ecological, virological and host determinants of inter-species transmission will allow better risk assessment of zoonotic events3,6,7.

Conclusion

As many emerging virus infections arise from animal reservoirs, a "One Health" approach is essential to their containment so that human health benefits are optimized while maintaining food security, safeguarding the economics of animal husbandry, preserving the envir
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Contact: Grace Ng
gracesk@hku.hk
852-281-99995
University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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