Emerging infectious diseases and pandemics in humans often originate from pathogens transmitted from nonhuman animal reservoirs. The pandemics of severe acute respiratory syndrome, HIV, and 2009 H1N1 influenza illustrate the dramatic impact of viral host- switching on public health and the global economy.
Early prediction, detection, characterization, and risk assessment of viruses in their animal hosts, before they spread into the human population, are critical to protect public health. Global burdens from existing or emerging infectious diseases emphasize the need for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics to enhance timely recognition and intervention. We will develop rapid tests for RNA viral pathogens that do not require any instrumentation and PCR.