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NIH Scientists Call for Coronavirus Field Studies


A team of scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases led by Dr. Antony Fauci has called for international collaboration to surveil coronaviruses from potential wild animal reservoirs, including bats and from domestic animals to understand the extent and types of coronaviruses in circulation*.  Whole genome sequencing could enable evaluating the probability of crossover from animal species to humans thereby providing an early warning system for outbreaks.


Based on experience gained from molecular assays prior to the emergence of COVID and additional knowledge thereafter, the NIH team predict that COVID will continue to circulate in human populations.  This presumes additional research and development on vaccines that are more specific with the objective of stimulating a rapid antibody response and lasting immunity.


*Morens, D. M. et al. Universal Coronavirus Vaccine - An Urgent Need. The New England Journal of Medicine. DOI:10.1056/NEJMp2118468 (2021).