Infectious outbreaks must be combatted strategically, Dartmouth-HHS experts argue

April 21, 2016

HANOVER, N.H. - New funding is not enough to guarantee success against emerging infectious diseases around the world. Rather, good governance, a long-term technology investment strategy and strong product management skills are essential, say a Dartmouth College researcher and her co-author.

Their article appears in the journal Nature Biotechnology. A PDF is available on request.

Kendall Hoyt, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and an expert in biosecurity, and Richard Hatchett, M.D., the acting director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, propose a new way to develop countermeasures for Ebola, Zika and other emerging infectious diseases. As momentum builds for an international effort to develop drugs and vaccines for emerging infectious diseases, the duo examined U.S. biodefense programs to understand approaches that might work and developed a global strategy for countermeasure development.

"As infectious outbreaks such as SARS, MERS, Ebola and Zika become the new norm, there is growing recognition that governments and philanthropic organizations need to pool funds to develop countermeasures for these diseases," Hoyt says. "Money is not enough, however. Without strong governance, a clear technology strategy and good product management, precious public funds will be wasted and we will continue to battle public health emergencies of international concern without the aid of medical countermeasures."

In February, the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus a public health emergency, setting a now familiar scenario into motion. As with previous infectious disease outbreaks -- HIV/AIDS, severe acute respiratory stress (SARS) disorder, pandemic flu and most recently Ebola -- Zika will spark an international race to develop new vaccines.

"The problem is that vaccines can take over a decade to develop," Hoyt says. "The development of new biomedical countermeasures -- vaccines, therapies and diagnostic -- requires the coordination of a wide number of institutional and industry actors to succeed. We argue that international efforts to develop countermeasures for emerging infectious diseases should build on lessons learned from U.S. programs to develop closely related biodefense products."
-end-
Assistant Professor Kendall Hoyt is available to comment at Kendall.L.Hoyt@dartmouth.edu.

Broadcast studios: Dartmouth has TV and radio studios available for interviews. For more information, visit: http://communications.dartmouth.edu/media/broadcast-studios

Dartmouth College

Related Ebola Articles from Brightsurf:

Targeting the shell of the Ebola virus
As the world grapples with COVID-19, the Ebola virus is again raging.

Why doesn't Ebola cause disease in bats, as it does in people?
A new study by researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston uncovered new information on why the Ebola virus can live within bats without causing them harm, while the same virus wreaks deadly havoc to people.

Ebola transmission risks would be taken more seriously with ground-up interventions
A study led by the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) has found significant differences in disease risk perception and channels of information about Ebola virus disease (EVD) in rural areas and urban centres of Guinea, West Africa.

US inroads to better Ebola vaccine
As the world focuses on finding a COVID-19 vaccine, research continues on other potentially catastrophic pandemic diseases, including Ebola and Marburg viruses.

Ebola antibodies at work
Scientists in Israel and Germany show, on the molecular level, how an experimental vaccine offers long-term protection against the disease.

Half of Ebola outbreaks undetected
An estimated half of Ebola virus disease outbreaks have gone undetected since it was discovered in 1976, according to research published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Protecting those on the frontline from Ebola
Online training developed at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) increased the knowledge of health care workers about effective prevention of Ebola up to 19 percent and reduced critical errors to 2.3 percent in a small MUSC cohort.

Another piece of Ebola virus puzzle identified
A team of researchers have discovered the interaction between an Ebola virus protein and a protein in human cells that may be an important key to unlocking the pathway of replication of the killer disease in human hosts.

How the human immune system protects against Ebola
'The current approach for treatment of filovirus infections with antibody cocktails tested in animal models utilizes the principle of targeting of non-overlapping epitopes.

How to slow down Ebola
The phylogenetic tree of the 2013-2016 Ebola epidemic doesn't just tell us how the Ebola virus was able to evolve: it also reveals which events and preventive measures accelerated or slowed down its spread.

Read More: Ebola News and Ebola Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.