ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0607.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: deliberate biological events; stakeholder mapping; preparedness and response
Online: 31 July 2018 (06:14:05 CEST)
Background: Recent infectious disease outbreaks have brought increased attention to strengthening the capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to natural biological threats. However, deliberate biological events also represent a significant global threat that have received relatively little attention. The Biological Weapons Convention provides a foundation for the response to deliberate biological events, but the political mechanisms to respond to and recover from such an event are poorly defined. Methods: We performed an analysis of the epidemiological timeline, the international policies triggered as a notional deliberate biological event unfolds, and the corresponding stakeholders and mandates assigned by each mandate. Findings: The results of this analysis identify a significant gap in both policy and stakeholder mandates: there is no single policy nor stakeholder mandate for leading and coordinating the response activities associated with a deliberate biological event. These results were visualized using an open source web-based tool published at https://dbe.talusanalytics.com. Interpretation: While there are organizations and stakeholders responsible for roles in leading security or public health response, these roles are non-overlapping and are led by organizations not with limited interaction outside such events. The lack of mandates highlights a gap in the mechanisms available to coordinate response and a gap in guidance for managing the response. The results of the analysis corroborate anecdotal evidence from stakeholder meetings and highlight a critical need and gap in deliberate biological response policy.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: zoonotic risk; viral emergence; viral ecology; genomics; machine learning; access and benefit sharing; intellectual property law; global health
Online: 7 April 2021 (11:53:59 CEST)
In light of the urgency raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, global investment in wildlife virology is likely to increase, and new surveillance programs will identify hundreds of novel viruses that might someday pose a threat to humans. Our capacity to identify which viruses are capable of zoonotic emergence depends on the existence of a technology—a machine learning model or other informatic system—that leverages available data on known zoonoses to identify which animal pathogens could someday pose a threat to global health. We synthesize the findings of an interdisciplinary workshop on zoonotic risk technologies to answer the following questions: What are the prerequisites, in terms of open data, equity, and interdisciplinary collaboration, to the development and application of those tools? What effect could the technology have on global health? Who would control that technology, who would have access to it, and who would benefit from it? Would it improve pandemic prevention? Could it create new challenges?