UofG part of global program to understand zoonotic viral disease ‘spill over’
The University of Glasgow is joining a global five-year program to understand and address threats posed by zoonotic viral diseases that can “spill over” from animals to humans, such as SARS-CoV-2, in an effort to reduce risk of infection, amplification, and spread.
The University’s Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM) will be part of the consortium of wildlife and human disease experts and networks from around the world, which is led by Tufts University.
The $100m program – funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – will see UofG receive a share of $1.5m to provide management input, and technical support in the form of mathematical modelling, statistics and surveillance design.
The program will build on the University’s expertise in One Health, one of UofG’s Research Beacons, and will enhance the capacity of local, national and regional institutions in countries across Africa and Asia to understand factors that contribute to the risk of zoonotic spillover; develop and implement measures to reduce early risk of spillover and spread; and quickly identify and respond to spillover events.
IBAHCM will support two hubs within the consortium: the Wildlife, Livestock, Epidemiology, and Behaviour Change Resource Hub; and the Surveillance, Mapping and Modelling Resource Hub. The focus will be on viruses: coronaviruses, Influenza, Nipah virus, paramyxoviruses and Ebola virus, in ten countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, DRC, Ethiopia, Liberia, Uganda, and Cote d’Ivoire.
Prof Dan Haydon said: “This is a significant opportunity to engage with a global consortium on a timely and obviously hugely important topic, and we thank USAID for the award.
"Given the wide-ranging expertise on this topic in IBAHCM, and the University’s focus on One Health, we are well positioned to contribute to this program and look forward to working with the STOP Spillover consortium over the next five years.”
First published: 2 October 2020