NCEZID Innovations: Introduction
Designing better mousetraps to catch infectious disease
Download printable PDF version: Innovations to Stop Emerging and Zoonotic Infections Cdc-pdf[32 pages]
Scientists across the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention innovate to stay one step ahead of infectious diseases. This report describes some recent ingenious solutions that scientists from CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) developed to reduce the threat of emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases. Expert pathologists and laboratorians often are pulled into major outbreak responses, as they were when Zika exploded in the Western Hemisphere in 2015, to answer a myriad of questions about the little-known virus.
Other scientists are charged with thwarting the more commonly seen—but occasionally deadly—illnesses caused by contaminated food or unclean water. Still other disease experts keep their eyes poised on potential bioterror threats, like an intentional release of anthrax or smallpox.
Their new innovations take many shapes. Many are about making better, cheaper, and faster tests. Some of the stand-out diagnostics include new ways to identify and stop deadly and drug-resistant bugs from spreading in healthcare settings. These cutting-edge scientists found a faster way to test dogs for rabies, for flushing out parasites in swimming pools, and even for identifying a virus in pet rats. They’ve applied whole genome sequencing to help stop foodborne outbreaks in their tracks. Laboratorians have honed new techniques like using lasers to more accurately diagnose Zika virus infection and a mobile app first responders can use in the field during an outbreak response.
Scientists across the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention innovate to stay one step ahead of infectious diseases. This report describes some recent ingenious solutions that scientists from CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases developed to reduce the threat of emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases.
Public health emergencies have spurred some of these seemingly overnight discoveries, but other innovations have been incubating for a while. The just-approved test to diagnose Rocky Mountain spotted fever was 10 years in the making. And our promising work—that has stretched over 2 decades—to develop nootkatone continues. Nootkatone is the active ingredient in next-generation pest control products that is plant-based and smells like citrus.
The same scientific rigor underpins all of these innovations, whether locally or globally focused, from the safer disposal of lab waste to headline-grabbing breakthroughs, like linking Zika to devastating birth defects. And the same sense of urgency fuels them all—to stay ahead of infectious germs that are infinitely varied, constantly changing, and more frequently crossing borders.