Volume 3: Spillover

Volume 3 of Evotis explores diseases of pandemic potential, and how they are passed between humans and wildlife. It’s easy to “focus on all of the doomsday scenarios,” Dr. Jonna Mazet writes in this volume, but it’s also a time of great progress and opportunity. Our aim with Volume 3 is to shine a light on that progress, which is happening in 20 countries across four continents around the world — all in the name of a better-prepared planet.

As we launched Volume 3 in the summer of 2014, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa grew to become the largest in history. Dr. Mazet has discussed the issue on a variety of media outlets as the severity has increased. Here's a small sampling: 

Halting a Global Pandemic Before it Starts 

During the past decade, attempts to control deadly viruses like SARS and H5N1 have been, out of necessity, almost entirely reactionary. It is time to move beyond that costly approach, which measures impact in death tolls and money spent on diagnosis, treatment, and containment.  We need a more proactive paradigm that allows for use of knowledge on what diseases might be coming and the development of interventions to prevent or at least control the pathogens at their source. -- By Jonna Mazet

There’s a tendency to view foreign aid as a transfer of resources from the haves to the have nots. But that one-way trajectory misses a critical feedback loop in the development of global human capacity. Like pathogens, knowledge can spill over when there is an interface, and it moves in multiple directions. An outbreak of collective intelligence could be the real and lasting success of this project. -- By David Wolking

Video: Sampling Rodents in Nepal's Urban Settlements

The UC Davis One Health Institute has been working with The Center for Molecular Dynamics, Nepal to do surveillance to detect zoonotic viruses in areas where there’s a high level of interaction between wildlife and humans. The work is part of the PREDICT project, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  

Video: How a Lab Tests for Zoonotic Diseases 

After surveillance teams gather wildlife samples from disease hotspots around the world, specimens are promptly frozen and transported to a lab. The following video picks up at that point in the process, starting with the extraction of the virus... 

Enhancing Surveillance: Non-Invasive Primate Sampling

How is a technique that involves strawberry jam and dental rope improving zoonotic disease surveillance? 

Video: The Temple Monkeys of Kathmandu

The ancient Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath sits on top of a hill in West Kathmandu and is one of the most important holy sites in Nepal. It is known as the “Monkey Temple” due to the large number of monkeys living on the grounds. “These temple sites are a perfect example of how monkeys and humans live together in close proximity to each other...”

More Spillover Stories

Yellow Fever in Bolivian Howler Monkeys, The Fruit Bats of Kathmandu, HealthMap: PREDICT's Pretty Face, more...