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Most Dangerous Pathogens

Posted by feww on December 12, 2015

Top Emerging Diseases Likely to Cause Major Epidemics: WHO

The current list of disease priorities needing urgent R&D attention comprises: Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, Ebola virus disease and Marburg, Lassa fever, MERS and SARS coronavirus diseases, Nipah and Rift Valley fever, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

Scientists and public health experts met in Geneva this week to prioritize the top emerging pathogens that are “likely to cause severe outbreaks in the near future, and for which few or no medical countermeasures exist.”

Experts who prepared the list represented a range of disciplines, including “virology, microbiology, immunology, public health, clinical medicine, mathematical and computational modelling, product development, and respiratory and severe emerging infections,” according to the report.


Photo Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
This highly-magnified, digitally-colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) reveals ultrastructural details at the site of interaction of numerous yellow-colored Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) viral particles that were on the surface of a Vero E6 cell, which had been colorized blue.

MERS-CoV spreads between people who are in close contact including transmission from infected patients to healthcare personnel. Clusters of cases in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UK, France, Tunisia, and Italy are being investigated. [NAIAID – 2014]

In addition to the top eight pathogens listed above, three other diseases have been designated as “serious,” requiring R&D as soon as possible. These arechikungunya, severe fever with thrombocytopaenia syndrome, and Zika.

“Other diseases with epidemic potential – such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Avian influenza and Dengue – were not included in the list because there are major disease control and research networks for these infections, and an existing pipeline for improved interventions,” said WHO.

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