Emerging, Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases Signature Program
The Emerging, Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases signature program aims to develop new systems for monitoring, detecting, and diagnosing infectious diseases and investigating host-pathogen interactions, particularly newly emerging diseases and those that are transmissible between animals and humans. New infectious diseases are emerging across the globe at an alarming rate, as the pathogens that we once had well controlled re-emerge today. We also face the threat of intentionally introduced biological agents. Beyond the health implications of the diseases themselves, naturally occurring and intentionally introduced infectious agents can destabilize populations, economies, and governments. Changes in land use practices are in part, to blame for this burgeoning problem. Changes in land use mean new patterns of animal movement and more frequent human-animal interactions; the increased contact means an increase in the likelihood of infectious disease transmission. Approximately 75% of all emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases are transmissible between humans and animals.