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Wildlife health monitoring as a tool for pandemic prevention

HIOH researchers report on new approaches to pandemic prevention in EMBO Reports

(Re-)Emerging infectious diseases are a serious threat to humans. Due to high mobility, climate change, and the loss of natural habitats in combination with close human-animal contact, the risk of transmission of dangerous infectious diseases from the animals to humans continues to increase. Scientists at the HIOH report on the possibilities of identifying pathogens through long-term monitoring of wild animals and their ecological context. In particular, the monitoring of wild great apes, our closest relatives, has led to the discovery of pathogens relevant to humans and thus has considerable potential for pandemic prevention. The full report with many details and further information, e.g. on non-invasive sampling or the important collaboration with African cooperation partners, was published in EMBO Reports:

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Additional information can be found in the accompanying podcast with an interview with our founding director Fabian Leendertz: 

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original publication

Gogarten, J.F., Düx, A., Gräßle, T., Lumbu, C.P., Markert, S., Patrono, L.V., Pléh, K.A., Singa, F.N., Tanga. C.T.F., Tombolomako, T. B., Couacy-Hymann, E., Kouadio, L., Ahuka-Mundeke, S., Makouloutou-Nzassi, P., Calvignac-Spencer, S., Leendertz, F. H. (2024) An ounce of prevention is better : Monitoring wildlife health as a tool for pandemic prevention. EMBO Rep. doi: 10.1038/s44319-024-00156-z. 

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Ruth Suchsland

Press contact

Dr Ruth Suchsland