Pathogen emergence & spread

Pathogen emergence and spread – prevention and mitigation of risks

CREID investigators use the evolutionary analysis of whole genome sequencing of selected pathogens as a common framework for the “genomic risk assessment” of pathogen emergence and spread. Identifying high-risk lineages and “clones” will more accurately inform public health responses to new outbreaks. A novel genomic risk assessment involves evolutionary analysis of microbial whole genome sequences to identify markers of potential emergence and spread. 

Exemplar pathogens represent different routes of transmission: 
• Vector-borne (arboviruses such as Dengue virus, Chikungunya viruses, and Zika virus)
• Enteric/foodborne (Salmonella)
• Respiratory (influenza viruses, enteroviruses, Streptococcus pneumoniae)
• Health care-associated (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; multi-resistant Klebsiella pneumonia)

Pathogen evolution is driven by different selection and distribution pressures:
• Travel/trade (arboviruses; Salmonella)
• Population immunity (influenza viruses, S. pneumoniae, enteroviruses); 
• Antimicrobial use/abuse (healthcare associated pathogens; S. pneumoniae, Salmonella). 

All pathogens under investigation are affected by environmental and socioeconomic factors, such as overcrowding (including in healthcare settings), environmental hygiene and infection control measures and climate.  


NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Emerging Infectious Diseases

Westmead Institute for Medical Research

176 Hawkesbury Road, Westmead | NSW | 2145 


p: +61 2 8627 3402