PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
[Accessed 6 June 2020]
Opinion: Intercepting pandemics through genomics
W. John Kress, Jonna A. K. Mazet, and Paul D. N. Hebert
PNAS first published June 3, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2009508117
Ecological interactions that cross domains of life have major impacts on ecosystems and human health. Although the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic makes this point with destructive clarity, it is clear that zoonotic pathogens pose a standing threat to our species as demonstrated by Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Other species experience similar pandemics and are both sources of, and sensitive to, shared pathogens.
Hence, there is an urgent need to establish a global, genomic-based biosurveillance platform, a development which would be of immense value to biosecurity, biodefense, and the economy. If implemented, this “pandemic interception system” would hugely advance our understanding of the natural world…