September 3, 2020

NIH Establishes "Early Warning" Network for Emerging Diseases

A new global network, the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID), is set to study viruses and other pathogens that emerge from wildlife and spill over to cause disease in humans. CREID was established by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The network is intended to enable early warnings of emerging diseases and increase preparedness for future outbreaks, NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci states in NIH’s press release.

CREID comprises a coordinating center and 10 research centers, which will collaborate with peer institutions in the United States and 28 other countries. According to NIH, CREID research projects will focus on identifying previously unknown causes of febrile illnesses in humans; finding the animal sources of viral and other disease-causing pathogens; and determining what genetic or other changes make these pathogens capable of infecting humans.

“CREID investigators also will develop reagents and diagnostic assays to improve detection of emerging pathogens and study human immune responses to new or emerging infectious agents,” NIH explains. “Overall, the breadth of research projects in the CREID network will allow for study of disease spillover in multiple phases of the process: where pathogens first emerge from an animal host; at the borders between wild and more populated areas, where human-to-human transmission occurs; and, finally, in urban areas, where epidemic spread can occur.”

More information about CREID, including a list of the research centers involved in the network, is available on the Centers’ website.