Prevention WHO aims to update a list of pathogens used as a guide for research and development as well as investment
WHO has brought together more than 300 scientists to study data on more than 25 families of viruses and bacteria. (ILLUSTRATION PHOTO) — Canva
After Covid-19, prevention is better than cure. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicated on Monday brought together more than 300 experts to draw up a new list of pathogens that can cause epidemics and pandemics and to study the threats that may arise from unknown viruses.
WHO’s goal is to maintains a list of pathogens used as a guide for research and development and for investments, including the development of vaccines, screening tests and treatments. As part of this process, which started On Friday, the WHO brought together more than 300 scientists who are to study the data relating to the disease. more than 25 families of viruses and bacteria.
The “Disease X”
In particular, scientists will be looking at “Disease X”, an as yet unknown pathogen that could cause a serious global pandemic. “Targeting priority pathogens and virus families for countermeasure research and development is essential for a rapid and effective response to outbreaks and pandemics” », said the person in charge of health emergencies at; WHO Michael Ryan.
“Without significant investment in research and development before the Covid-19 pandemic, there would not have been a possible to develop safe and effective vaccines in record time,” This list has been first published in 2017.
It currently includes Covid-19, Ebola virus, Lassa fever, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Zika and Nipah viruses and disease X. During their work, the experts will determine, for each identified pathogenic agent, as a priority, knowledge gaps and priorities for research.
A roadmap for the development of vaccines, treatments and screening tests can then be provided. be elaborate. “The list of priority pathogens has become a reference for the community” researchers,” pointing “where” efforts must be concentrated to deal with the next threat,” Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientific officer of the WHO. The revised pathogen list is to be made public by April 2023.