Can an Infectious Disease Genomics Project ‘Predict and Prevent’ the next Pandemic?

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Public Library of Science – Biology, Vol. 7


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The world of genomics is transforming medicine, and is likely to influence the future development of new drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines. To date, the greater focus of genomics and medicine has been on conditions affecting resourcewealthy settings, primarily involving scientists and companies in those settings. However, we believe that it is possible to expand genomics into a more global technology that can also focus on diseases of resource-limited settings. This goal can be achieved if genomics is made a global priority. We feel one way to move in this direction is through a comprehensive approach to infectious diseases-i.e., an Infectious Disease Genomics Project-that would mirror the Human Genome Project. Without an active, unified effort specifically focused on allowing actors at any level to participate in the genomics revolution, infectious diseases that primarily affect the poor will likely not achieve the same level of scientifici advancement as diseases affecting the wealthy.

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