OHI Team Receives Funding for Digital Technology Development
Team will focus on climate-sensitive infectious disease modeling
OHI Research Faculty Dr. Pranav Pandit is leading a team as Principal Investigator - in collaboration with OHI colleagues Drs. Brian Bird, Christine Kreuder Johnson, and Marcela Uhart - to develop climate-sensitive models for individual arenaviruses in close collaboration with regional public health experts in Africa and South America.
Arenaviruses are featured in the World Health Organization’s list of priority diseases with specific concerns around endemic arenavirus infections in Africa and emerging arenavirus threats in South America. The risk of these zoonotic viruses is driven by the distribution and ecology of their rodent reservoir species which are highly sensitive to landscape changes. In the coming years, our changing climate could impact the risk of arenavirus spillover from rodents through various mechanisms such as drought, frequency of fires, and adaptive agricultural practices. The team aims to create a pipeline of validated data that feeds into predictive models, and to develop a resource for researchers as a centralized database and knowledge center for arenaviruses in addition to a home for predictive scenario-based modeling activities.