Predicting the next pandemic: VACCELERATE ranking of the World Health Organization's Blueprint for Action to Prevent Epidemics

Jon Salmanton-García, Pauline Wipfler, Janina Leckler, Pontus Nauclér, Patrick W. Mallon, Patricia C.J.L. Bruijning-Verhagen, Heinz Joseph Schmitt, Ullrich Bethe, Ole F. Olesen, Fiona A. Stewart, Kerstin Albus, Oliver A. Cornely, Martin Busch, Ulrike Seifert, Andreas Widmer, Miki Nagao, Jordi Rello, Tatina Todorova, Sabina Cviljević, Christopher H. HeathLigita Jančorienė, Thea Koelsen Fischer, Hans Martin Orth, Isik Somuncu Johansen, Mehmet Doymaz, Athanasios Tragiannidis, Thomas Löscher, Jin Fu Xu, Petr Husa, José Antonio Oteo, Mohammad I. Issack, Markus Zeitlinger, Roger Le Grand, Przemysław Zdziarski, Fatih Demirkan, Paloma Merino Amador, Tomás García-Lozano, Qing Cao, Lourdes Vázquez, Juan Pablo Caeiro, Peter Hermans, Shahroch Nahrwar, Korkut Avsar, Deepak Kumar, Norma Fernández, Masoud Mardani, Esther Segal, Angelo Pan, Despoina Gkentzi, Georgia Gioula, Jorge Alberto Cortés, Joaquim Oliveira, Pierre van Damme, Mohd Zaki Bin Mohd Zaili, Spinello Antinori, Birutė Zablockienė, Georgios Papazisis, Chioma Inyang Aneke, Maricela Valerio, Samuel McConkey, Avinash Aujayeb, Anna Maria Azzini, Jelena Roganović, Kristin Greve-Isdahl Mohn, Peter Kremsner, Effrossyni Gkrania-Klotsas, Dora Corzo, Nina Khanna, Tomasz Smiatacz, Simone Scheithauer, Maria Merelli, Boris Klempa, Radovan Vrḫovac, Antonio Ruggiero, Pankaj Chaudhary, Julio Maquera-Afaray, Miquel Ekkelenkamp, Pavel Jindra, Nikola Pantić, Gemma Jiménez Guerra, Guenter Weiss, Behrad Roohi, Christos D. Argyropoulos, Sven Aprne Silfverdal, Jens van Praet, Zumrut Sahbudak Bal, Souha Kanj, Barnaby Young, Zoi Dorothea Pana, Emmanuel Roilides, Stephen C. Stearns, Joost Wauters, Jesús Rodríguez Baño, Mathias W. Pletz, Maja Travar, Steven Kühn, Fernando Riera, Daniel Cornely, Vlad Jeni Laura, Philipp Koehler, Brian Eley, Pravin K. Nair, Sandra Ciesek, Ioana Diana Olaru, Laura Marques, Emanuele Pontali, Alexandra Naunheim, Adrian Lieb, Markus Gerhard, Joveria Qais Farooqi, Lance Turtle, Gustavo Adolfo Méndez, Rebecca Jane Cox, Nigel Goodman, Billie Caceca, Javier Pemán, Halima Dawood, Helena Hervius Askling, Anders Fomsgaard, Alejandra Calderón Hernández, Cornelia Staehelin, Chia Ying Liu, Giancarlo Icardi, Elio Castagnola, Helmut J.F. Salzer, Jens Lundgren, Samir Javadli, Fabio Forghieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: The World Health Organization (WHO)'s Research and Development (R&D) Blueprint for Action to Prevent Epidemics, a plan of action, highlighted several infectious diseases as crucial targets for prevention. These infections were selected based on a thorough assessment of factors such as transmissibility, infectivity, severity, and evolutionary potential. In line with this blueprint, the VACCELERATE Site Network approached infectious disease experts to rank the diseases listed in the WHO R&D Blueprint according to their perceived risk of triggering a pandemic. VACCELERATE is an EU-funded collaborative European network of clinical trial sites, established to respond to emerging pandemics and enhance vaccine development capabilities. Methods: Between February and June 2023, a survey was conducted using an online form to collect data from members of the VACCELERATE Site Network and infectious disease experts worldwide. Participants were asked to rank various pathogens based on their perceived risk of causing a pandemic, including those listed in the WHO R&D Blueprint and additional pathogens. Results: A total of 187 responses were obtained from infectious disease experts representing 57 countries, with Germany, Spain, and Italy providing the highest number of replies. Influenza viruses received the highest rankings among the pathogens, with 79 % of participants including them in their top rankings. Disease X, SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and Ebola virus were also ranked highly. Hantavirus, Lassa virus, Nipah virus, and henipavirus were among the bottom-ranked pathogens in terms of pandemic potential. Conclusion: Influenza, SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and Ebola virus were found to be the most concerning pathogens with pandemic potential, characterised by transmissibility through respiratory droplets and a reported history of epidemic or pandemic outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102676
JournalTravel Medicine and Infectious Disease
Volume57
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Disease X
  • Ebola virus
  • Infectious disease
  • Influenza viruses
  • Pandemic
  • SARS-CoV
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • WHO R&D Blueprint for action to prevent epidemics

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