In the midst of globalized travel, industrial livestock production, and changes in land-use patterns, the overall lessening divide between humans and animals provide opportunities for pathogens to transmit across species and evolve. Emerging and reemerging infectious diseases threaten human and animal lives and way of life. New zoonotic diseases, which grab a foothold in animal vectors and later spread into human populations or vice-versa, are especially concerning. Furthermore, reemerging diseases—those which have evolved beyond the efficacy of their established treatments and preventatives, or for which established preventatives are underutilized—increase the risk of severe illness and other negative health outcomes.

More than 60 percent of infectious diseases are of animal origin, and 90 percent of all endemic infections are zoonotic. Scientists at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine are challenging these new and familiar threats to both animal and human life. By working toward stronger understandings of disease mechanisms with a focus on novel and innovative therapeutics and preventatives, these researchers are tackling head-on some of tomorrow’s most concerning risks. The College’s initiative and capacity to make these moves are supported by critical stakeholders in the race against emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. Of the College’s $12,722,803 in research funding (FY 2019-20), 64 percent was contributed by the National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture, two leaders in the fight for human and animal health.

Interested in collaborating or supporting the College’s research? Contact Dr. Srinand Sreevatsan, associate dean of Research Facilitation for the College.