Pathogens and Diseases Studied
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can infect animals and humans. Three novel, more dangerous coronaviruses have emerged in the 21st century: SARS-CoV (causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and SARS-CoV-2 (causing COVID-19). See NIAID website for more information.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The disease emerged from Wuhan, China in late 2019 and was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. See NIAID website for more information.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The first outbreak started in China in 2002, and spread to 26 countries in 2002-2003. SARS was recognized as the first severe and highly transmissible new disease to emerge in the 21st century. See NIAID website for more information.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by the MERS-associated coronavirus (MERS‐CoV). MERS was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and can be spread from infected dromedary camels to humans, and subsequently and more rarely from person to person. See NIAID website for more information.
Filoviruses are a virus family that can infect humans and non-human primates and cause severe hemorrhagic fever. Filoviruses originate in animals such as bats and primates and are passed to humans through direct contact with an infected animal. See NIAID website for more information.
Ebola Virus Disease
Ebola Virus Disease is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by an infection with a group of viruses within the genus Ebolavirus. It often has high mortality rates and affects humans and primates. See CDC website for more information.
Marburg virus was first discovered in 1967 when laboratory workers who were working with African monkeys in Marburg, Germany became ill. There have been Marburg hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda, as well as Germany and Serbia. See CDC website for more information.
Flaviviruses are a family of small, single-stranded, enveloped ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses. Some flaviviruses can be transmitted to humans or animals by infected arthropods such as ticks and mosquitos and cause disease. See CDC website for more information.
Yellow Fever Virus
Yellow fever virus is a flavivirus that is spread to people through bites by infected mosquitos. Yellow fever virus is most commonly found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. See CDC website for more information.
Dengue viruses are spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Dengue viruses are carried by Aedes mosquitos and are found in tropical and subtropical areas of in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. See the NIAID website for more information.
Zika virus is a flavivirus that is primarily transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitos, and subsequently and less frequently can be passed from person to person. Zika virus disease has been reported in 86 countries and territories. See the NIAID website for more information.
Japanese Encephalitis Virus
Japanese encephalitis virus is a flavivirus and is transmitted to humans, primarily in rural areas of Asia and the western Pacific through the Culex species of mosquitos. See CDC website for more information.
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus was first discovered in Uganda in 1937 and is common in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and West Asia. West Nile virus is the primary cause of mosquito-borne disease in the U.S., with the first outbreak in the U.S. in 1999. See the NIAID website for more information.
Bunyavirales is an order of more than 300 viruses and includes the viral families Arenaviridae, Hantaviridae, Nairoviridae, and Phenuiviridae among others. Example viruses in this order include Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, Rift Valley fever virus, Lassa virus, and Sin Nombre virus. See the CDC website for more information.
Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is caused by a tick-borne virus, Nairovirus, in the family Bunyaviridae, and is found in Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, China, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Africa, and the Middle East. See the CDC website for more information.
Lassa virus is part of the Arenaviridae virus family (recently reclassified as part of the Bunyavirales order) and is found in West Africa, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria. See the CDC website for more information.
Rift Valley Fever
Rift Valley fever is part of the Phenuiviridae virus family and is often seen in domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep and is endemic to much of Sub-Saharan Africa. Rift Valley fever virus can be transmitted to humans through contact with blood, bodily fluids, or tissue of infected animals, as well as through mosquitoes. See the CDC website for more information.
Chikungunya virus is part of the Togaviridae virus family and is spread through the bite of Aedes mosquitos. Cases and outbreaks have occurred in Africa, Asia, Europe, Americas, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. See the CDC website for more information.
Nipah virus is part of the Paramyxoviridae virus family and was first discovered in 1999 in Malaysia and Singapore among pig farmers. Since the discovery, outbreaks have been reported in Bangladesh and India. Flying foxes (Pteropus bats) are the natural reservoir of the virus and are found in China, Southeast Asia, India, Australia, and Madagascar. See the CDC website for more information.
Disease X represents a disease from a pathogen currently not known to cause human disease. Disease X research is often focused on whole families or classes of pathogens (ex. viruses) in order to more broadly understand common qualities and characteristics of these pathogens. See WHO website for more information.
Pathogen Viral Families