Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems
Bioinformatics | Computational Biology | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Infectious Disease | International Public Health | Microbiology | Virus Diseases | Viruses
While investigating a signal of adaptive evolution in humans at the gene LARGE, we encountered an intriguing finding by Dr. Stefan Kunz that the gene plays a critical role in Lassa virus binding and entry. This led us to pursue field work to test our hypothesis that natural selection acting on LARGE-detected in the Yoruba population of Nigeria-conferred resistance to Lassa Fever in some West African populations. As we delved further, we conjectured that the "emerging" nature of recently discovered diseases like Lassa fever is related to a newfound capacity for detection, rather than a novel viral presence, and that humans have in fact been exposed to the viruses that cause such diseases for much longer than previously suspected. Dr. Stefan Kunz's critical efforts not only laid the groundwork for this discovery, but also inspired and catalyzed a series of events that birthed Sentinel, an ambitious and large-scale pandemic prevention effort in West Africa. Sentinel aims to detect and characterize deadly pathogens before they spread across the globe, through implementation of its three fundamental pillars: Detect, Connect, and Empower. More specifically, Sentinel is designed to detect known and novel infections rapidly, connect and share information in real time to identify emerging threats, and empower the public health community to improve pandemic preparedness and response anywhere in the world. We are proud to dedicate this work to Stefan Kunz, and eagerly invite new collaborators, experts, and others to join us in our efforts.
Ebola, LARGE, Lassa fever, Lassa virus, bioinformatics, diagnostic tools, genomic surveillance, infectious disease, pandemic preemption, pandemic response
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DOI of Published Version
Botti-Lodovico Y, Nair P, Nosamiefan D, Stremlau M, Schaffner S, Agignoae SV, Aiyepada JO, Ajogbasile FV, Akpede GO, Alhasan F, Andersen KG, Asogun DA, Ayodeji OO, Badiane AS, Barnes K, Bauer MR, Bell-Kareem A, Benard ME, Benevolence EO, Blessing O, Boehm CK, Boisen ML, Bond NG, Branco LM, Butts MJ, Carter A, Colubri A, Deme AB, DeRuff KC, Diédhiou Y, Edamhande AP, Elhamoumi S, Engel EJ, Eromon P, Fallah M, Folarin OA, Fry B, Garry R, Gaye A, Gbakie M, Gevao SM, Gionet G, Gladden-Young A, Goba A, Gomis JF, Happi AN, Houghton M, Ihekwuazu C, Iruolagbe CO, Jackson J, Jalloh S, Johnson J, Kanneh L, Kayode A, Kemball M, Kingsley OC, Koroma V, Kotliar D, Mehta S, Metsky HC, Michael A, Mirhashemi ME, Modjarrad K, Momoh M, Myhrvold CA, Naregose OG, Ndiaye T, Ndiaye M, Ndiaye A, Normandin E, Odia I, Oguzie JU, Okogbenin SA, Okokhere PO, Okolie J, Olawoye IB, Olumade TJ, Oluniyi PE, Omoregie O, Park DJ, Paye MF, Petros B, Philippakis AA, Priscilla A, Ricks A, Rimoin A, Sandi JD, Schieffelin JS, Schreiber M, Seck MC, Siddiqui S, Siddle K, Smither AR, Sy M, Sy N, Tomkins-Tinch CH, Tomori O, Ugwu C, Uwanibe JN, Uyigue EA, Victoria DI, Vinzé A, Vodzak ME, Welch N, Wurie HI, Zoumarou D, Grant DS, Ndiaye D, MacInnis B, Sabeti PC, Happi C. The Origins and Future of Sentinel: An Early-Warning System for Pandemic Preemption and Response. Viruses. 2021 Aug 13;13(8):1605. doi: 10.3390/v13081605. PMID: 34452470; PMCID: PMC8402630. Link to article on publisher's site
Botti-Lodovico Y, Colubri A, Sabeti PC, Happi C. (2021). The Origins and Future of Sentinel: An Early-Warning System for Pandemic Preemption and Response. COVID-19 Publications by UMass Chan Authors. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081605. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/covid19/316
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