PREDICT: Building global surveillance to detect and prevent spillover of pathogens of pandemic potential that can move between wildlife and people.
In order to predict, respond to, and prevent the emergence of novel infectious diseases in humans, pathogens must be identified at their source. The PREDICT project, led by Principal Investigator and Co-Director Dr. Jonna A.K. Mazet, DVM, MVPM, PhD of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and Co-Director Stephen S. Morse, PhD of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, recognizes that explosive human population growth and environmental changes have resulted in increased numbers of people living in close contact with animals. Unfortunately the resulting increase in contact, together with changes in land use, has altered the inherent ecological balance between pathogens and their human and animal hosts.
PREDICT, a project of USAID's Emerging Pandemic Threats Program,is building a global early warning system to detect and reduce the impacts of emerging diseases that move between wildlife and people (zoonotic diseases). PREDICT has developed a SMART surveillance method (Strategic, Measurable, Adaptive, Responsive, and Targeted) that accounts for the fact that zoonotic pathogens, such as influenza and SARS, are responsible for the majority of emerging infectious diseases in people, and that more than three quarters of these emerging zoonoses are of wildlife origin. The SMART surveillance approach is designed to detect novel diseases with pandemic potential early, giving health professionals the best opportunity to prevent emergence and spread. It also targets sentinel animal species at active human interfaces in hotspot regions to improve surveillance efficiency.
The PREDICT team builds on a broad coalition of partners to develop the global capacity to monitor diseases at the animal-human interface and develop a risk-based approach to concentrate these efforts in surveillance, prevention, and response at the most critical points for disease emergence from wildlife.
PREDICT project objectives:
- Assess local surveillance capacity;
- Implement targeted and adaptive wildlife disease surveillance systems;
- Develop and deliver new technologies to improve efforts close to the source;
- Use cutting-edge information management and communication tools to bring the world closer to realizing an integrated, global approach to emerging zoonotic diseases.