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SPP 1596

"Ecology and Species Barriers in Emerging Viral Diseases"

Prof. Dr. Christian Drosten
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Universitätsklinikum Bonn AöR
Institut für Virologie
Siegmund-Freud-Str. 25
53127 Bonn

The field of emerging viruses is gaining tremendous interest in the scientific community. However, the large diversity of agents and the necessity to work across disciplines remains an unmet challenge. Whereas the collaboration between human and veterinary medicine has been identified as an approach to opening the perspective on zoonotic disease agents, this "One Health" approach remains restricted to a medical perspective. Beyond, there has been little collaboration between fundamental disciplines relevant to the topic, specifically fundamental virology and fundamental zoology. Even though pathogen emergence and evolution is addressed in both disciplines, there are significant gaps between both disciplines in the mutual understanding of methodology, the formulation of concepts and hypotheses, as well as the use of a common terminology and language. Beyond the specific tasks described in this application, dealing with this issue will improve disease modelling in general, by generating virus-host models without artificial adaptation. This opens the big chance to understand much more about true host-pathogen relationships valid in the human setting as well. In the field of zoology and ecology, the inclusion of virus parameters in population and habitat studies will open a novel perspective on mechanisms that precipitate in the rapidly-involving timescale of virus evolution. With the great expertises that zoology and virology offer in Germany, it seems highly promising to put efforts in the interlinking and co-ordination of those most competitive groups from both fields that show a genuine and deep interest in fundamental questions beyond medical application.

Laufzeit seit 2013