Emerging infectious diseases are escalating infectious disease threats that have been uncommon or unrecognised in the past.
They can be animal diseases like SARS that jump species to man, or exotic diseases like West Nile or Chikungunya viruses that spread beyond their usual geographic location. Diseases like syphilis or antibiotic resistant bacteria, where previously good control methods have deteriorated, are often referred to as re-emerging diseases.
The Doherty Institute's expertise
Combating emerging infections is a major focus for the Doherty Institute, with expertise in laboratory diagnosis, creating new tests for new infections and analysing data relating to their transmission and spread. Doherty Institute researchers are contributing to new cures and vaccines and ways to interrupt spread of emerging infections, while clinicians are aiding in their treatment.
Doherty Institute staff have played leading roles in Australia’s responses to emerging diseases like SARS, Ebola, MERS and pandemic influenza. Internationally, Doherty Institute researchers are helping to lead the fight against emerging diseases like dengue and avian influenza. The Doherty Institute has highly specialised laboratories and equipment to support these activities.