The application of genomics to emerging zoonotic viral diseases
Interspecies transmission of pathogens may result in the emergence of new infectious diseases in humans as well as in domestic and wild animals. Genomics tools such as high-throughput sequencing, mRNA expression profiling, and microarray-based analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms are providing unprecedented ways to analyze the diversity of the genomes of emerging pathogens as well as the molecular basis of the host response to them. By comparing and contrasting the outcomes of an emerging infection with those of closely related pathogens in different but related host species, we can further delineate the various host pathways determining the outcome of zoonotic transmission and adaptation to the newly invaded species. The ultimate challenge is to link pathogen and host genomics data with biological outcomes of zoonotic transmission and to translate the integrated data into novel intervention strategies that eventually will allow the effective control of newly emerging infectious diseases.