Publications by authors named "Peter Daszak"

230 Publications

A global repository of novel antimicrobial emergence events.

F1000Res 2020 12;9:1320. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY, 10018, USA.

Despite considerable global surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), data on the global emergence of new resistance genotypes in bacteria has not been systematically compiled. We conducted a study of English-language scientific literature (2006-2017) and ProMED-mail disease surveillance reports (1994-2017) to identify global events of novel AMR emergence (first clinical reports of unique drug-bacteria resistance combinations). We screened 24,966 abstracts and reports, ultimately identifying 1,757 novel AMR emergence events from 268 peer-reviewed studies and 26 disease surveillance reports (294 total). Events were reported in 66 countries, with most events in the United States (152), China (128), and India (127). The most common bacteria demonstrating new resistance were (344) and (218). Resistance was most common against antibiotic drugs imipenem (89 events), ciprofloxacin (84) and ceftazidime (83). We provide an open-access database of emergence events with standardized fields for bacterial species, drugs, location, and date. We discuss the impact of reporting and surveillance bias on database coverage, and we suggest guidelines for data analysis. This database may be broadly useful for understanding rates and patterns of AMR evolution, identifying global drivers and correlates, and targeting surveillance and interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.26870.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8596184PMC
January 2022

Environmental Change and Zoonotic Disease Risk at Human-Macaque Interfaces in Bangladesh.

Ecohealth 2021 Dec 8;18(4):487-499. Epub 2021 Nov 8.

EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY, 10001, USA.

Anthropogenic land-use changes increase the frequency of interactions and habitat overlap between humans and macaques which play an important role in zoonotic disease transmission. This exploratory qualitative study aimed to examine connections between land-use change and macaque-human interactions and assess the chance of zoonotic disease transmission. We conducted ethnographic interviews and focus group discussions in Old Dhaka, Madaripur, and Chandpur, Bangladesh. Participants reported significant anthropogenic landscape transformations leading to increased human-macaque contact in the study areas. Participants also reported that all three sites underwent substantial landscape alteration from natural or agricultural land to a human-altered environment with roads, commercial, and residential buildings. Participants noted that the disappearance of forestland appeared to increase the macaque dependence on backyard fruit trees. Where rivers and ponds were filled to support local construction, macaques were also observed as becoming more dependent upon human water sources. These changed may help expanding the macaques' foraging areas, and they appear to be invading new areas where people are not culturally habituated to living with them. In response, many residents reported reacting aggressively toward the macaques, which they believed led to more bites and scratches. However, other respondents accepted the presence of macaques around their homes. Few participants considered macaques to be a source of disease transmission. This study revealed that local environmental changes, deforestation, urban expansion, construction, and water bodies' disappearance are linked to increasing human-macaque interactions. Understanding these interactions is critical to develop successful mitigation interventions at interfaces with a high risk for viral disease spillover.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-021-01565-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8573309PMC
December 2021

Zoonotic potential of a novel bat morbillivirus.

Res Sq 2021 Sep 29. Epub 2021 Sep 29.

Bats are significant reservoir hosts for many viruses with zoonotic potential1. SARS-CoV-2, Ebola virus, and Nipah virus are examples of such viruses that have caused deadly epidemics and pandemics when spilled over from bats into human and animal populations2,3. Careful surveillance of viruses in bats is critical for identifying potential zoonotic pathogens. However, metagenomic surveys in bats often do not result in full-length viral sequences that can be used to regenerate such viruses for targeted characterization4. Here, we identify and characterize a novel morbillivirus from a vespertilionid bat species (Myotis riparius) in Brazil, which we term myotis bat morbillivirus (MBaMV). There are 7 species of morbilliviruses including measles virus (MeV), canine distemper virus (CDV) and rinderpest virus (RPV)5. All morbilliviruses cause severe disease in their natural hosts6-10, and pathogenicity is largely determined by species specific expression of canonical morbillivirus receptors, CD150/SLAMF111 and NECTIN412. MBaMV used Myotis spp CD150 much better than human and dog CD150 in fusion assays. We confirmed this using live MBaMV that was rescued by reverse genetics. Surprisingly, MBaMV replicated efficiently in primary human myeloid but not lymphoid cells. Furthermore, MBaMV replicated in human epithelial cells and used human NECTIN4 almost as well as MeV. Our results demonstrate the unusual ability of MBaMV to infect and replicate in some human cells that are critical for MeV pathogenesis and transmission. This raises the specter of zoonotic transmission of a bat morbillivirus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-926789/v1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8491849PMC
September 2021

Seasonality of Date Palm Sap Feeding Behavior by Bats in Bangladesh.

Ecohealth 2021 Sep 5;18(3):359-371. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), IPH Building, Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sarani, Room 302968, Mohakhali, Dhaka, 1212, Bangladesh.

Pteropus bats are the natural reservoir for Nipah virus, and in Bangladesh, it is transmitted to people through consumption of raw or fermented date palm sap. Our objective was to understand seasonal patterns of bat feeding on date palm sap at a location where sap is collected year-round. Seven nights each month over three years, we mounted infrared cameras in four trees to observe bats' feeding behavior at date palm trees harvested for fermented sap production. We described the frequency of bat visits, duration of bat visits, and duration of bat-sap contact by month and by year. We captured 42,873 bat visits during 256 camera-nights of observation, of which 3% were Pteropus and 94% were non-Pteropus bats. Though the frequency of Pteropus bat visits to each tree/night was much lower than non-Pteropus bat visits, Pteropus bats stayed in contact with sap longer than non-Pteropus bats. Frequency of bat visits was higher during winter compared to other seasons, which may arise as a consequence of limited availability of food sources during this period or may be related to seasonal characteristics of the sap. Seasonal alignment of sap consumption by humans and bats may have consequences for viral spillover into humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-021-01561-9DOI Listing
September 2021

A strategy to assess spillover risk of bat SARS-related coronaviruses in Southeast Asia.

medRxiv 2021 Sep 14. Epub 2021 Sep 14.

Emerging diseases caused by coronaviruses of likely bat origin (e.g. SARS, MERS, SADS and COVID-19) have disrupted global health and economies for two decades. Evidence suggests that some bat SARS-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoVs) could infect people directly, and that their spillover is more frequent than previously recognized. Each zoonotic spillover of a novel virus represents an opportunity for evolutionary adaptation and further spread; therefore, quantifying the extent of this "hidden" spillover may help target prevention programs. We derive biologically realistic range distributions for known bat SARSr-CoV hosts and quantify their overlap with human populations. We then use probabilistic risk assessment and data on human-bat contact, human SARSr-CoV seroprevalence, and antibody duration to estimate that ∼400,000 people (median: ∼50,000) are infected with SARSr-CoVs annually in South and Southeast Asia. These data on the geography and scale of spillover can be used to target surveillance and prevention programs for potential future bat-CoV emergence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.09.09.21263359DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8452109PMC
September 2021

A Novel Potentially Recombinant Rodent Coronavirus with a Polybasic Cleavage Site in the Spike Protein.

J Virol 2021 10 25;95(22):e0117321. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

School of Laboratory Medicine and Life Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China.

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has reignited global interest in animal coronaviruses and their potential for human transmission. While bats are thought to be the wildlife reservoir of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, the widespread human coronavirus OC43 is thought to have originated in rodents. Here, we sampled 297 rodents and shrews, representing eight species, from three municipalities of southern China. We report coronavirus prevalences of 23.3% and 0.7% in Guangzhou and Guilin, respectively, with samples from urban areas having significantly higher coronavirus prevalences than those from rural areas. We obtained three coronavirus genome sequences from Rattus norvegicus, including a Betacoronavirus (rat coronavirus [RCoV] GCCDC3), an Alphacoronavirus (RCoV-GCCDC5), and a novel Betacoronavirus (RCoV-GCCDC4). Recombination analysis suggests that there was a potential recombination event involving RCoV-GCCDC4, murine hepatitis virus (MHV), and Longquan Rl rat coronavirus (LRLV). Furthermore, we uncovered a polybasic cleavage site, RARR, in the spike (S) protein of RCoV-GCCDC4, which is dominant in RCoV. These findings provide further information on the potential for interspecies transmission of coronaviruses and demonstrate the value of a One Health approach to virus discovery. Surveillance of viruses among rodents in rural and urban areas of South China identified three rodent coronaviruses, RCoV-GCCDC3, RCoV-GCCDC4, and RCoV-GCCDC5, one of which was identified as a novel potentially recombinant coronavirus with a polybasic cleavage site in the spike (S) protein. Through reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) screening of coronaviruses, we found that coronavirus prevalence in urban areas is much higher than that in rural areas. Subsequently, we obtained three coronavirus genome sequences by deep sequencing. After different method-based analyses, we found that RCoV-GCCDC4 was a novel potentially recombinant coronavirus with a polybasic cleavage site in the S protein, dominant in RCoV. This newly identified coronavirus RCoV-GCCDC4 with its potentially recombinant genome and polybasic cleavage site provides a new insight into the evolution of coronaviruses. Furthermore, our results provide further information on the potential for interspecies transmission of coronaviruses and demonstrate the necessity of a One Health approach for zoonotic disease surveillance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01173-21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8549509PMC
October 2021

Wild animal and zoonotic disease risk management and regulation in China: Examining gaps and One Health opportunities in scope, mandates, and monitoring systems.

One Health 2021 Dec 5;13:100301. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY, United States of America.

Emerging diseases of zoonotic origin such as COVID-19 are a continuing public health threat in China that lead to a significant socioeconomic burden. This study reviewed the current laws and regulations, government reports and policy documents, and existing literature on zoonotic disease preparedness and prevention across the forestry, agriculture, and public health authorities in China, to articulate the current landscape of potential risks, existing mandates, and gaps. A total of 55 known zoonotic diseases (59 pathogens) are routinely monitored under a multi-sectoral system among humans and domestic and wild animals in China. These diseases have been detected in wild mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish or other aquatic animals, the majority of which are transmitted between humans and animals via direct or indirect contact and vectors. However, this current monitoring system covers a limited scope of disease threats and animal host species, warranting expanded review for sources of disease and pathogen with zoonotic potential. In addition, the governance of wild animal protection and utilization and limited knowledge about wild animal trade value chains present challenges for zoonotic disease risk assessment and monitoring, and affect the completeness of mandates and enforcement. A coordinated and collaborative mechanism among different departments is required for the effective monitoring and management of disease emergence and transmission risks in the animal value chains. Moreover, pathogen surveillance among wild animal hosts and human populations outside of the routine monitoring system will fill the data gaps and improve our understanding of future emerging zoonotic threats to achieve disease prevention. The findings and recommendations will advance One Health collaboration across government and non-government stakeholders to optimize monitoring and surveillance, risk management, and emergency responses to known and novel zoonotic threats, and support COVID-19 recovery efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.onehlt.2021.100301DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8358700PMC
December 2021

Socializing One Health: an innovative strategy to investigate social and behavioral risks of emerging viral threats.

One Health Outlook 2021 May 14;3(1):11. Epub 2021 May 14.

One Health Institute, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA, 95616, USA.

In an effort to strengthen global capacity to prevent, detect, and control infectious diseases in animals and people, the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) PREDICT project funded development of regional, national, and local One Health capacities for early disease detection, rapid response, disease control, and risk reduction. From the outset, the EPT approach was inclusive of social science research methods designed to understand the contexts and behaviors of communities living and working at human-animal-environment interfaces considered high-risk for virus emergence. Using qualitative and quantitative approaches, PREDICT behavioral research aimed to identify and assess a range of socio-cultural behaviors that could be influential in zoonotic disease emergence, amplification, and transmission. This broad approach to behavioral risk characterization enabled us to identify and characterize human activities that could be linked to the transmission dynamics of new and emerging viruses. This paper provides a discussion of implementation of a social science approach within a zoonotic surveillance framework. We conducted in-depth ethnographic interviews and focus groups to better understand the individual- and community-level knowledge, attitudes, and practices that potentially put participants at risk for zoonotic disease transmission from the animals they live and work with, across 6 interface domains. When we asked highly-exposed individuals (ie. bushmeat hunters, wildlife or guano farmers) about the risk they perceived in their occupational activities, most did not perceive it to be risky, whether because it was normalized by years (or generations) of doing such an activity, or due to lack of information about potential risks. Integrating the social sciences allows investigations of the specific human activities that are hypothesized to drive disease emergence, amplification, and transmission, in order to better substantiate behavioral disease drivers, along with the social dimensions of infection and transmission dynamics. Understanding these dynamics is critical to achieving health security--the protection from threats to health-- which requires investments in both collective and individual health security. Involving behavioral sciences into zoonotic disease surveillance allowed us to push toward fuller community integration and engagement and toward dialogue and implementation of recommendations for disease prevention and improved health security.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s42522-021-00036-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8122533PMC
May 2021

Ranking the risk of animal-to-human spillover for newly discovered viruses.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 04;118(15)

One Health Institute and Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616;

The death toll and economic loss resulting from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic are stark reminders that we are vulnerable to zoonotic viral threats. Strategies are needed to identify and characterize animal viruses that pose the greatest risk of spillover and spread in humans and inform public health interventions. Using expert opinion and scientific evidence, we identified host, viral, and environmental risk factors contributing to zoonotic virus spillover and spread in humans. We then developed a risk ranking framework and interactive web tool, SpillOver, that estimates a risk score for wildlife-origin viruses, creating a comparative risk assessment of viruses with uncharacterized zoonotic spillover potential alongside those already known to be zoonotic. Using data from testing 509,721 samples from 74,635 animals as part of a virus discovery project and public records of virus detections around the world, we ranked the spillover potential of 887 wildlife viruses. Validating the risk assessment, the top 12 were known zoonotic viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Several newly detected wildlife viruses ranked higher than known zoonotic viruses. Using a scientifically informed process, we capitalized on the recent wealth of virus discovery data to systematically identify and prioritize targets for investigation. The publicly accessible SpillOver platform can be used by policy makers and health scientists to inform research and public health interventions for prevention and rapid control of disease outbreaks. SpillOver is a living, interactive database that can be refined over time to continue to improve the quality and public availability of information on viral threats to human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2002324118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8053939PMC
April 2021

Microbicidal actives with virucidal efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 and other beta- and alpha-coronaviruses and implications for future emerging coronaviruses and other enveloped viruses.

Sci Rep 2021 03 11;11(1):5626. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Reckitt Benckiser LLC, Global Research and Development for Lysol and Dettol, One Philips Parkway, Montvale, NJ, 07645, USA.

Mitigating the risk of acquiring coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2 requires awareness of the survival of virus on high-touch environmental surfaces (HITES) and skin, and frequent use of targeted microbicides with demonstrated efficacy. The data on stability of infectious SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces and in suspension have been put into perspective, as these inform the need for hygiene. We evaluated the efficacies of formulated microbicidal actives against alpha- and beta-coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2. The coronaviruses SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, human coronavirus 229E, murine hepatitis virus-1, or MERS-CoV were deposited on prototypic HITES or spiked into liquid matrices along with organic soil loads. Alcohol-, quaternary ammonium compound-, hydrochloric acid-, organic acid-, p-chloro-m-xylenol-, and sodium hypochlorite-based microbicidal formulations were evaluated per ASTM International and EN standard methodologies. All evaluated formulated microbicides inactivated SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses in suspension or on prototypic HITES. Virucidal efficacies (≥ 3 to ≥ 6 log reduction) were displayed within 30 s to 5 min. The virucidal efficacy of a variety of commercially available formulated microbicides against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses was confirmed. These microbicides should be useful for targeted surface and hand hygiene and disinfection of liquids, as part of infection prevention and control for SARS-CoV-2 and emerging mutational variants, and other emerging enveloped viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-84842-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7952405PMC
March 2021

Decoding the RNA viromes in rodent lungs provides new insight into the origin and evolutionary patterns of rodent-borne pathogens in Mainland Southeast Asia.

Microbiome 2021 01 21;9(1):18. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

NHC Key Laboratory of Systems Biology of Pathogens, Institute of Pathogen Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, PR China.

Background: As the largest group of mammalian species, which are also widely distributed all over the world, rodents are the natural reservoirs for many diverse zoonotic viruses. A comprehensive understanding of the core virome of diverse rodents should therefore assist in efforts to reduce the risk of future emergence or re-emergence of rodent-borne zoonotic pathogens.

Results: This study aimed to describe the viral range that could be detected in the lungs of rodents from Mainland Southeast Asia. Lung samples were collected from 3284 rodents and insectivores of the orders Rodentia, Scandentia, and Eulipotyphla in eighteen provinces of Thailand, Lao PDR, and Cambodia throughout 2006-2018. Meta-transcriptomic analysis was used to outline the unique spectral characteristics of the mammalian viruses within these lungs and the ecological and genetic imprints of the novel viruses. Many mammalian- or arthropod-related viruses from distinct evolutionary lineages were reported for the first time in these species, and viruses related to known pathogens were characterized for their genomic and evolutionary characteristics, host species, and locations.

Conclusions: These results expand our understanding of the core viromes of rodents and insectivores from Mainland Southeast Asia and suggest that a high diversity of viruses remains to be found in rodent species of this area. These findings, combined with our previous virome data from China, increase our knowledge of the viral community in wildlife and arthropod vectors in emerging disease hotspots of East and Southeast Asia. Video abstract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40168-020-00965-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7818139PMC
January 2021

Infectious Disease Threats: A Rebound To Resilience.

Health Aff (Millwood) 2021 02 21;40(2):204-211. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Michael T. Osterholm is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The US has experienced a series of epidemics during the past five decades. None has tested the nation's resilience like the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has laid bare critical weaknesses in US pandemic preparedness and domestic leadership and the nation's decline in global standing in public health. Pandemic response has been politicized, proven public health measures undermined, and public confidence in a science-based public health system reduced. This has been compounded by the large number of citizens without ready access to health care, who are overrepresented among infected, hospitalized, and fatal cases. Here, as part of the National Academy of Medicine's Vital Directions for Health and Health Care: Priorities for 2021 initiative, we review the US approach to pandemic preparedness and its impact on the response to COVID-19. We identify six steps that should be taken to strengthen US pandemic resilience, strengthen and modernize the US health care system, regain public confidence in government leadership in public health, and restore US engagement and leadership in global partnerships to address future pandemic threats domestically and around the world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2020.01544DOI Listing
February 2021

No Evidence of Coronaviruses or Other Potentially Zoonotic Viruses in Sunda pangolins (Manis javanica) Entering the Wildlife Trade via Malaysia.

Ecohealth 2020 09 23;17(3):406-418. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

EcoHealth Alliance, 520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1200, New York, NY, 10018, USA.

The legal and illegal trade in wildlife for food, medicine and other products is a globally significant threat to biodiversity that is also responsible for the emergence of pathogens that threaten human and livestock health and our global economy. Trade in wildlife likely played a role in the origin of COVID-19, and viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 have been identified in bats and pangolins, both traded widely. To investigate the possible role of pangolins as a source of potential zoonoses, we collected throat and rectal swabs from 334 Sunda pangolins (Manis javanica) confiscated in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah between August 2009 and March 2019. Total nucleic acid was extracted for viral molecular screening using conventional PCR protocols used to routinely identify known and novel viruses in extensive prior sampling (> 50,000 mammals). No sample yielded a positive PCR result for any of the targeted viral families-Coronaviridae, Filoviridae, Flaviviridae, Orthomyxoviridae and Paramyxoviridae. In the light of recent reports of coronaviruses including a SARS-CoV-2-related virus in Sunda pangolins in China, the lack of any coronavirus detection in our 'upstream' market chain samples suggests that these detections in 'downstream' animals more plausibly reflect exposure to infected humans, wildlife or other animals within the wildlife trade network. While confirmatory serologic studies are needed, it is likely that Sunda pangolins are incidental hosts of coronaviruses. Our findings further support the importance of ending the trade in wildlife globally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-020-01503-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7682123PMC
September 2020

Nipah virus dynamics in bats and implications for spillover to humans.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 11 2;117(46):29190-29201. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY 10018.

Nipah virus (NiV) is an emerging bat-borne zoonotic virus that causes near-annual outbreaks of fatal encephalitis in South Asia-one of the most populous regions on Earth. In Bangladesh, infection occurs when people drink date-palm sap contaminated with bat excreta. Outbreaks are sporadic, and the influence of viral dynamics in bats on their temporal and spatial distribution is poorly understood. We analyzed data on host ecology, molecular epidemiology, serological dynamics, and viral genetics to characterize spatiotemporal patterns of NiV dynamics in its wildlife reservoir, bats, in Bangladesh. We found that NiV transmission occurred throughout the country and throughout the year. Model results indicated that local transmission dynamics were modulated by density-dependent transmission, acquired immunity that is lost over time, and recrudescence. Increased transmission followed multiyear periods of declining seroprevalence due to bat-population turnover and individual loss of humoral immunity. Individual bats had smaller host ranges than other species (spp.), although movement data and the discovery of a Malaysia-clade NiV strain in eastern Bangladesh suggest connectivity with bats east of Bangladesh. These data suggest that discrete multiannual local epizootics in bat populations contribute to the sporadic nature of NiV outbreaks in South Asia. At the same time, the broad spatial and temporal extent of NiV transmission, including the recent outbreak in Kerala, India, highlights the continued risk of spillover to humans wherever they may interact with pteropid bats and the importance of limiting opportunities for spillover throughout 's range.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2000429117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7682340PMC
November 2020

Possibility for reverse zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to free-ranging wildlife: A case study of bats.

PLoS Pathog 2020 09 3;16(9):e1008758. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the substantial public health, economic, and societal consequences of virus spillover from a wildlife reservoir. Widespread human transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) also presents a new set of challenges when considering viral spillover from people to naïve wildlife and other animal populations. The establishment of new wildlife reservoirs for SARS-CoV-2 would further complicate public health control measures and could lead to wildlife health and conservation impacts. Given the likely bat origin of SARS-CoV-2 and related beta-coronaviruses (β-CoVs), free-ranging bats are a key group of concern for spillover from humans back to wildlife. Here, we review the diversity and natural host range of β-CoVs in bats and examine the risk of humans inadvertently infecting free-ranging bats with SARS-CoV-2. Our review of the global distribution and host range of β-CoV evolutionary lineages suggests that 40+ species of temperate-zone North American bats could be immunologically naïve and susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2. We highlight an urgent need to proactively connect the wellbeing of human and wildlife health during the current pandemic and to implement new tools to continue wildlife research while avoiding potentially severe health and conservation impacts of SARS-CoV-2 "spilling back" into free-ranging bat populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008758DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7470399PMC
September 2020

Epidemiology and Molecular Characterization of Rotavirus A in Fruit Bats in Bangladesh.

Ecohealth 2020 09 2;17(3):398-405. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

EcoHealth Alliance, 460 West 34th Street, Suite 17, New York, NY, 10001, USA.

Rotavirus A (RVA) is the primary cause of acute dehydrating diarrhea in human and numerous animal species. Animal-to-human interspecies transmission is one of the evolutionary mechanisms driving rotavirus strain diversity in humans. We screened fresh feces from 416 bats (201 Pteropus medius, 165 Rousettus leschenaultii and 50 Taphozous melanopogon) for RVA using rRT-PCR. We detected a prevalence of 7% (95% CI 3.5-10.8) and 2% (95% CI 0.4-5.2) in P. medius and R. leschenaultii, respectively. We did not detect RVA in the insectivorous bat (T. melanopogon). We identified RVA strains similar to the human strains of G1 and G8 based on sequence-based genotyping, which underscores the importance of including wildlife species in surveillance for zoonotic pathogens to understand pathogen transmission and evolution better.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-020-01488-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7464061PMC
September 2020

Was the COVID-19 pandemic avoidable? A call for a "solution-oriented" approach in pathogen evolutionary ecology to prevent future outbreaks.

Ecol Lett 2020 Nov 31;23(11):1557-1560. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

EcoHealth Alliance, New York City, NY, USA.

Concerns about the prospect of a global pandemic have been triggered many times during the last two decades. These have been realised through the current COVID-19 pandemic, due to a new coronavirus SARS-CoV2, which has impacted almost every country on Earth. Here, we show how considering the pandemic through the lenses of the evolutionary ecology of pathogens can help better understand the root causes and devise solutions to prevent the emergence of future pandemics. We call for better integration of these approaches into transdisciplinary research and invite scientists working on the evolutionary ecology of pathogens to contribute to a more "solution-oriented" agenda with practical applications, emulating similar movements in the field of economics in recent decades.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.13586DOI Listing
November 2020

Origin and cross-species transmission of bat coronaviruses in China.

Nat Commun 2020 08 25;11(1):4235. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

EcoHealth Alliance, New York, USA.

Bats are presumed reservoirs of diverse coronaviruses (CoVs) including progenitors of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. However, the evolution and diversification of these coronaviruses remains poorly understood. Here we use a Bayesian statistical framework and a large sequence data set from bat-CoVs (including 630 novel CoV sequences) in China to study their macroevolution, cross-species transmission and dispersal. We find that host-switching occurs more frequently and across more distantly related host taxa in alpha- than beta-CoVs, and is more highly constrained by phylogenetic distance for beta-CoVs. We show that inter-family and -genus switching is most common in Rhinolophidae and the genus Rhinolophus. Our analyses identify the host taxa and geographic regions that define hotspots of CoV evolutionary diversity in China that could help target bat-CoV discovery for proactive zoonotic disease surveillance. Finally, we present a phylogenetic analysis suggesting a likely origin for SARS-CoV-2 in Rhinolophus spp. bats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17687-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7447761PMC
August 2020

Make science evolve into a One Health approach to improve health and security: a white paper.

One Health Outlook 2020 17;2(1). Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The World One Health Congresses are biennial gatherings of approximately 1500 professionals from relevant international organisations, OIE, FAO, WHO, World Bank, leading scientific experts and researchers in the field of One Health, animal production and trade, food safety, animal health, human health and environmentology/ecology, government representatives in public health, human health, food safety, environmental health and global health security. The Congress is organized by the One Health Platform. This white paper summarizes highlights of the 5th International One Health Congress in Saskatoon, Canada, June 2018 and serves as a roadmap for the future, detailing several concrete action points to be carried out in the run-up to the 6th World One Health Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland, June 2020.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s42522-019-0009-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7162674PMC
April 2020

Origin and cross-species transmission of bat coronaviruses in China.

bioRxiv 2020 May 31. Epub 2020 May 31.

Bats are presumed reservoirs of diverse coronaviruses (CoVs) including progenitors of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. However, the evolution and diversification of these coronaviruses remains poorly understood. We used a Bayesian statistical framework and sequence data from all known bat-CoVs (including 630 novel CoV sequences) to study their macroevolution, cross-species transmission, and dispersal in China. We find that host-switching was more frequent and across more distantly related host taxa in alpha-than beta-CoVs, and more highly constrained by phylogenetic distance for beta-CoVs. We show that inter-family and -genus switching is most common in Rhinolophidae and the genus . Our analyses identify the host taxa and geographic regions that define hotspots of CoV evolutionary diversity in China that could help target bat-CoV discovery for proactive zoonotic disease surveillance. Finally, we present a phylogenetic analysis suggesting a likely origin for SARS-CoV-2 in spp. bats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.31.116061DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7302205PMC
May 2020

A strategy to prevent future epidemics similar to the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

Biosaf Health 2020 Mar 5;2(1):6-8. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

EcoHealth Alliance, 460 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001, USA.

A novel bat-origin coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and continues to spread across China and the world. At the time of writing, a massive global response has been implemented to control the disease as it spreads from person to person. Yet the high-risk human-wildlife interactions and interfaces that led to the emergence of SARS-CoV and of 2019-nCoV continue to exist in emerging disease hotspots globally. To prevent the next epidemic and pandemic related to these interfaces, we call for research and investment in three areas: 1) surveillance among wildlife to identify the high-risk pathogens they carry; 2) surveillance among people who have contact with wildlife to identify early spillover events; and 3) improvement of market biosecurity regarding the wildlife trade. As the emergence of a novel virus anywhere can impact the furthest reaches of our connected world, international collaboration among scientists is essential to address these risks and prevent the next pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bsheal.2020.01.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7144510PMC
March 2020

A COVID-19 Risk Assessment for the US Labor Force.

medRxiv 2020 Apr 17. Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.

The consequences of COVID-19 infection varies substantially based on individual social risk factors and predisposing health conditions. Understanding this variability may be critical for targeting COVID-19 control measures, resources and policies, including efforts to return people back to the workplace. We compiled individual level data from the National Health Information Survey and Quarterly Census of Earnings and Wages to estimate the number of at-risk workers for each US county and industry, accounting for both social and health risks. Nearly 80% of all workers have at least one health risk and 11% are over 60 with an additional health risk. We document important variation in the at-risk population across states, counties, and industries that could provide a strategic underpinning to a staged return to work.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.13.20063776DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7217089PMC
April 2020

Human-animal interactions and bat coronavirus spillover potential among rural residents in Southern China.

Biosaf Health 2019 Sep 9;1(2):84-90. Epub 2019 Nov 9.

EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY, USA.

Human interaction with animals has been implicated as a primary risk factor for several high impact zoonoses, including many bat-origin viral diseases. However the animal-to-human spillover events that lead to emerging diseases are rarely observed or clinically examined, and the link between specific interactions and spillover risk is poorly understood. To investigate this phenomenon, we conducted biological-behavioral surveillance among rural residents in Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong districts of Southern China, where we have identified a number of SARS-related coronaviruses in bats. Serum samples were tested for four bat-borne coronaviruses using newly developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Survey data were used to characterize associations between human-animal contact and bat coronavirus spillover risk. A total of 1,596 residents were enrolled in the study from 2015 to 2017. Nine participants (0.6%) tested positive for bat coronaviruses. 265 (17%) participants reported severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and/or influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms in the past year, which were associated with poultry, carnivore, rodent/shrew, or bat contact, with variability by family income and district of residence. This study provides serological evidence of bat coronavirus spillover in rural communities in Southern China. The low seroprevalence observed in this study suggests that bat coronavirus spillover is a rare event. Nonetheless, this study highlights associations between human-animal interaction and zoonotic spillover risk. These findings can be used to support targeted biological behavioral surveillance in high-risk geographic areas in order to reduce the risk of zoonotic disease emergence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bsheal.2019.10.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7148670PMC
September 2019

Pandemic COVID-19 Joins History's Pandemic Legion.

mBio 2020 05 29;11(3). Epub 2020 May 29.

Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Section, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

With great apprehension, the world is now watching the birth of a novel pandemic already causing tremendous suffering, death, and disruption of normal life. Uncertainty and dread are exacerbated by the belief that what we are experiencing is new and mysterious. However, deadly pandemics and disease emergences are not new phenomena: they have been challenging human existence throughout recorded history. Some have killed sizeable percentages of humanity, but humans have always searched for, and often found, ways of mitigating their deadly effects. We here review the ancient and modern histories of such diseases, discuss factors associated with their emergences, and attempt to identify lessons that will help us meet the current challenge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00812-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7267883PMC
May 2020

Catastrophic Risk: Waking Up to the Reality of a Pandemic?

Ecohealth 2020 06 29;17(2):217-221. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Ecohealth Alliance, New York, NY, 10001, USA.

Will a major shock awaken the US citizens to the threat of catastrophic pandemic risk? Using a natural experiment administered both before and after the 2014 West African Ebola Outbreak, our evidence suggests "no." Our results show that prior to the Ebola scare, the US citizens were relatively complacent and placed a low relative priority on public spending to prepare for a pandemic disease outbreak relative to an environmental disaster risk (e.g., Fukushima) or a terrorist attack (e.g., 9/11). After the Ebola scare, the average citizen did not over-react to the risk. This flat reaction was unexpected given the well-known availability heuristic-people tend to over-weigh judgments of events more heavily toward more recent information. In contrast, the average citizen continued to value pandemic risk less relative to terrorism or environmental risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-020-01479-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7189354PMC
June 2020
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