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Microb Biotechnol . Pandemic preparedness: On the efficacy of non-pharmaceutical interventions in COVID-19 and about approaches to predict future pandemic viruses

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  • Microb Biotechnol . Pandemic preparedness: On the efficacy of non-pharmaceutical interventions in COVID-19 and about approaches to predict future pandemic viruses

    Microb Biotechnol


    . 2024 Mar;17(3):e14431.
    doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.14431. Pandemic preparedness: On the efficacy of non-pharmaceutical interventions in COVID-19 and about approaches to predict future pandemic viruses

    Harald Brüssow 1



    AffiliationsFree PMC article Abstract

    With three major viral pandemics over the last 100 years, namely the Spanish flu, AIDS and COVID-19 each claiming many millions of lives, pandemic preparedness has become an important issue for public health. The economic, social and political consequences of the upheaval caused by such pandemics also represent a major challenge for governments with respect to sustainable development goals. The field of pandemic preparedness is vast and the current article can only address selected aspects. The article looks first backwards and addresses the question of the efficacy of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) on the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. The article looks then forward by asking to what extent viral candidates for future pandemics can be predicted by virome analyses from metagenome and transcriptome sequencing, by focusing on the virome from specific animal species and using ecological and epidemiological data about spillover viral infections in veterinary and human medicine. As a comprehensive overview on pandemic preparedness is beyond the capacity of a single reviewer, only selected topics will be discussed using recent key scientific publications. Since COVID-19 has not run its course, a computational program able to predict the future evolution of SARS-CoV-2 is mentioned that could assist proactive mRNA vaccine developments against possible future variants of concern. Ending the COVID-19 epidemic necessitates mucosal vaccines that can suppress the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and therefore this article closes by discussing a promising and versatile protein nanoparticle experimental vaccine approach for inhalation that does not depend on needles nor a cold chain for distribution.


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