Global Virus Network (GVN) Launches Task Force to Combat Monkeypox Global Outbreak

Unusual outbreaks of monkeypox via human-to-human have been reported in the US, Australia, the UK, Spain, Portugal, and other European countries; While the transmission of monkeypox from animals to humans is well known, the increasing number of community transmission cases simultaneously occurring worldwide may represent an urgent pandemic threat.

BaltimoreMaryland, USA, May 20, 2022: A higher incidence of human-to-human monkeypox transmission in varying geographical regions is alarming global health officials.  While the transmission of monkeypox from animals to humans is established and known, the growing number of community transmission cases worldwide is a potential pandemic threat. The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing 69 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 37 countries, and comprising foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans and some animals, today announced the formation of the GVN Monkeypox Task Force.  The new GVN Task force, which is expected to grow, will urgently bring together GVN researchers to explore the growing number of monkeypox cases worldwide. The announcement was made today by Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President of the GVN, Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Innovation at University of South Florida (USF), and Professor, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal Medicine at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the GVN Southeast U.S. Regional Headquarters.

“The GVN is concerned about the recent growing number of monkeypox cases, given that the chain of transmission is still unknown,” said Prof. Bréchot.   President of the GVN, and a Professor at the University of South Florida. “Although the virus is known to rarely cause human-to-human transmission, its potential growing spread in the community is a major concern. Our critical response to this outbreak is a rapid identification of viral infection to prevent further transmission.  We support current organizations such as the World Health Organization and stand ready to serve as global first-responders to this dangerous virus and operate as an international clearinghouse to educate, inform and disseminate critical information to governments, health organizations, healthcare practitioners and the public-at-large.”

Today, Germany was the latest to report its first case of the virus, in addition to numerous cases detected in the U.K., Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, the U.S. and Australia.  While we can identify cases linked to travel from Africa, where monkeypox is endemic, more recent infections are thought to have spread in the community, giving serious concern for broader global outbreak.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms very similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe. With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health. Monkeypox primarily occurs in Central and West Africa, often in proximity to tropical rainforests and has been increasingly appearing in urban areas. Animal hosts include a range of rodents and non-human primates.

About the Global Virus Network (GVN)

The Global Virus Network (GVN) is essential and critical in the preparedness, defense and first research response to emerging, existing and unidentified viruses that pose a clear and present threat to public health, working in close coordination with established national and international institutions. It is a coalition comprised of eminent human and animal virologists from 69 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 37 countries worldwide, working collaboratively to train the next generation, advance knowledge about how to identify and diagnose pandemic viruses, mitigate and control how such viruses spread and make us sick, as well as develop drugs, vaccines and treatments to combat them. No single institution in the world has expertise in all viral areas other than the GVN, which brings together the finest medical virologists to leverage their individual expertise and coalesce global teams of specialists on the scientific challenges, issues and problems posed by pandemic viruses. The GVN is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, please visit www.gvn.org. Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews

Media Contact:

Nora Samaranayake, GVN

[email protected]

GVN Statement on Monkeypox Outbreaks

May 20, 2022

Unusual outbreaks of monkeypox have recently been reported in the US, the UK, Spain, Portugal, and other European countries. The chain of transmission is currently unknown, but it is clear that it involves human to human transmission. Although the virus has been known in the past to rarely cause such human-to-human transmission, the simultaneous identification of  these infections in several countries is worrisome and its potential spread in the community is an important concern. Our response to this outbreak should be based on a rapid identification of viral infection to prevent further transmission.

Global Virus Network (GVN) Announces Seven Distinguished International Appointments to Board of Directors

World Leaders In Academia, Business, Government, Healthcare, Philanthropy & Science Commit Their Expertise To Advancing The Development & Expansion Of The GVN

Baltimore, MD, USA (May 3, 2022) – The Global Virus Network (GVN), a coalition of the world’s leading medical virology research centers working together to prevent illness and death from viral disease, today announced the election of seven distinguished global leaders to its Board of Directors. The announcement was made today by Robert Gallo, MD, Co-founder of the GVN & Chair of the GVN’s Scientific Leadership Board and the Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-founder and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence, and by Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President of the GVN, Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Innovation at University of South Florida (USF), and Professor, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal Medicine at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the GVN Southeast U.S. Regional Headquarters.

The individuals elected to the board of directors of the GVN include Dr. Bréchot, Brett P. Giroir, MD, CEO, Altesa BioSciences, USA; John Pottage, Jr., MD, Former Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, ViiV Healthcare and Non-Executive Director, Spero Therapeutics, USA; Juliette M. Tuakli, MD, MPH, Chair, Board of Trustees, United Way Worldwide; Rosarii Griffin, MEd, MSc, DPhil, FRSA, DDVS, Director, Centre for Global Development at the University of Cork College, Ireland; Stephen Israel, Vice Chairman for Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Korn Ferry, USA; Steven Phillips, MD, MPH, Vice President of Science and Strategy, COVID Collaborative, USA. The GVN also announced that Mathew L. Evins, Chairman of Evins Communications, Ltd., and a founding board member of the organization, was unanimously elected to serve as Chairman of the GVN’s Board of Directors as well as reelected to the position of Treasurer of the organization. David Scheer, President of Scheer & Company, Inc., was elected to serve as Vice Chairman & Secretary and Timothy Moynahan, Esq., the previous Chairman of the GVN Board of Directors, was honored as Chairman Emeritus for his outstanding leadership and service to the organization. Former general counsel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Robert P. Charrow of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, now serves as GVN’s legal counsel.

“We are so pleased to announce GVN’s new Board members, which marks the beginning of a new era for our organization,” said Dr. Gallo. “I look forward to working with these esteemed leaders in their respective fields to bring GVN’s mission to the international community to advance science and mitigate viral threats to mankind. The caliber of talent, intellect and visibility of our new Board members is a tribute to the work GVN has accomplished and continues to pursue. Further, we are most appreciative of Mr. Moynahan’s leadership of the Board in previous years, and we look forward to Mr. Evins taking the helm. Both Mr. Moynahan and Mr. Evins have been driving forces in the success of GVN since its inception. I have no doubt that Mr. Evins will continue to play an invaluable and consequential role for the GVN as well as be instrumental in leading the Board and the GVN in its mission to protect and promote the advancement of science and global health.”

Said Mr. Evins, “It has been a defining honor and privilege to work with Dr. Gallo, Dr. Bréchot and the team at the GVN. The organization has become indispensable in the preparedness, defense and first research response to emerging, existing and unidentified viruses that pose a clear and present threat to public health. No other institution in the world has the GVN’s breadth, depth and scope of virology capabilities, resources and specialists, and it is the only organization that brings together the world’s foremost virus experts to collaboratively and accretively leverage their individual expertise to address the challenges, issues and problems posed by pandemic viruses.” Continued Mr. Evins, “I am incredibly grateful and honored to have been elected Chairman, and for the opportunity to work closely with the leadership and with my distinguished colleagues on the Board of Directors to advance and further the mission and consequence of the GVN. Most importantly, my overarching priority as Chairman, is to help the organization build its financial, operational, and public health resources to enable the GVN to ensure that the world will never again be unprepared, untrained and ill-equipped to deal with pandemic viruses.” Mr. Evins is Chairman of Evins Communications, Ltd., a leading branding, marketing, communications, and public relations firm which he co-founded in 1987. He previously served as CEO of Pain Therapeutics Corporation, which was engaged in developing innovative methods for the diagnosis, treatment, and abatement of chronic pain, and on the staff of Cornell Medical Center, initially as a Surgical Research Associate in the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory and, subsequently, as Associate Director of The Rogosin Organ Retrieval & Preservation Laboratory.

“I am extremely honored to join the board of the GVN,” said Dr. Giroir, who formerly served as the 16th Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Acting FDA Commissioner, and Admiral in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. “COVID-19 demonstrated the compelling need for an organization like the GVN, comprised of the top virologists, epidemiologists, and health policy experts from around the world. My main goal is to support GVN in becoming the ‘go to’ non-partisan, science-based source of information to anticipate, prevent, and respond to global viral threats the world faces now, and will face in the coming decades.” He also served as the U.S. Representative to the Executive Board of the World Health Organization within the Department of State. Notably, Dr. Giroir was on the front lines of the COVID-19 response as a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the national lead for testing and diagnostics (“Testing Czar”).

“New and emerging viral diseases that have had significant impacts on public health have made the need for the GVN ever more vital,” said Dr. Pottage, Jr. “It is a great honor to join the GVN and be able to contribute to its important mission.” Dr. Pottage’s expertise include infectious diseases, HIV medicine, research and development, good clinical practice, safety and pharmacovigilance, and regulatory affairs.

“With the immense professional respect that I have developed for both Dr. Robert Gallo and Dr. Christian Bréchot, it is both an honor and extraordinary privilege to serve on the GVN Board,” said Dr. Tuakli. Dr. Tuakli is a physician leader with extensive medical, philanthropic, and executive business experience. She is also a horticulturalist. Dr. Tuakli has achieved significant and sustainable impacts in public health, pediatrics, ethics and philanthropy in Africa, USA and Europe.

“I’m very excited about becoming a board member of GVN,” said Dr. Griffin. Dr. Griffin’s expertise is in ‘International and Comparative Education’ focusing on ‘Education as a Humanitarian Response,’ ‘Education in Emergencies’ and ‘Education for Global Sustainable Development.’ “I’m looking forward to contributing to its mission and values. I also hope to bring different perspectives to the issues under consideration by the GVN, especially from a social science perspective relevant to viral scientific issues in this increasingly globalized world. I’m very much looking forward to contributing to GVN’s forthcoming Board meeting and proceedings.”

“I am very grateful to having been selected to join the GVN Board and look forward to helping advance its timely and important mission,” said Mr. Israel. Mr. Israel is an acknowledged industry expert and consultant mainly to venture backed, emerging biotechnology companies whose management needs are entrepreneurial and heavily focused on drug discovery and development.

“It’s safe to say that the field of medical virology has never been more broadly recognized as being critical to human safety and advancement than it is today,” said Dr. Phillips. “For this reason, I am especially honored to be asked to serve on the Board of the world’s pre-eminent coalition of human and animal virologists. GVN’s revitalized board is positioned to help steer this organization to fulfill its ambitious mission in the shadow of our current pandemic. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of GVN’s next chapter.” Dr. Phillips is a medical and public health professional who has held leadership positions in global health, international development, and infectious disease epidemiology spanning private, government, academic, non-profit and think-tank sectors.

“It will be for me a great pleasure and an honor to interact with these new board members,” said Dr. Bréchot. “The Global Virus Network is at an inflection point. We have significant ambitions for the coming years, and I know the new board members will offer their high-level expertise to significantly contribute and achieve these important goals.” Before serving as president of the Pasteur Institute from 2013 to 2017, Dr. Bréchot was vice president of medical and scientific affairs at Institut-Merieux, a company that develops new approaches to fight infectious diseases and cancers. He also served as the general director of Inserm, the French national agency for biomedical research from 2002 to 2007. As professor of hepatology and cell biology at Necker School of Medicine, Paris Descartes University, he led the clinical department of liver diseases at Necker-Enfants Maldes Hospital from 1997 to 2001.

“I am proud to have been serving on the Board of the GVN, an organization which has unique importance in the world today as we face the challenges of the current and potential future pandemics,” said David Scheer, President of Scheer & Company, Inc. and newly elected Vice Chairman & Secretary of the GVN Board of Directors. “I am particularly thrilled to work with the other members of the Board and with Bob Gallo, whom I have known since the late 1970s.” Mr. Scheer is an advisor and serial entrepreneur in the life sciences including building two antiviral drug development companies. His career includes providing corporate strategic and transactional advisory services in the life sciences industry and has been a participant as advisor in a wide variety of initiatives in the global and public health arenas, working with some of the top researchers, thought-leaders, and institutions.

About the Global Virus Network (GVN)
The Global Virus Network (GVN) is essential and critical in the preparedness, defense and first research response to emerging, existing and unidentified viruses that pose a clear and present threat to public health, working in close coordination with established national and international institutions. It is a coalition comprised of eminent human and animal virologists from 69 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 37 countries worldwide, working collaboratively to train the next generation, advance knowledge about how to identify and diagnose pandemic viruses, mitigate and control how such viruses spread and make us sick, as well as develop drugs, vaccines and treatments to combat them. No single institution in the world has expertise in all viral areas other than the GVN, which brings together the finest medical virologists to leverage their individual expertise and coalesce global teams of specialists on the scientific challenges, issues and problems posed by pandemic viruses. The GVN is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, please visit www.gvn.org. Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews

GLOBAL VIRUS NETWORK AND ABBOTT LAUNCH PANDEMIC DEFENSE POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

The partnership is training the next generation of virologists to combat future pandemic threats, with a focus on pathogen discovery in developing nations

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, April 6, 2022 – The Global Virus Network (“GVN”), the world’s leading coalition of virologists combatting current and emerging pandemic viral threats, and Abbott, the global healthcare company, announce the GVN – Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition Postdoctoral Fellowship Program aimed at building the pipeline of virus hunters to improve pandemic preparedness and health security across the world.

The program will provide the latest scientific training in new pathogen discovery, genomic sequencing, and laboratory analysis led by leading virologists and clinicians from across GVN’s 68 centers of excellence and affiliates in 36 countries.

To prepare for the next pandemic, the world needs more virologists. Within a few decades, Duke’s Global Health Institute estimates that novel disease outbreaks will likely increase three-fold, driven by globalization, population growth and closer contact between humans and animals. The WHO recommends a global ratio of one field epidemiologist for every 200,000 people. Only a fraction of countries have met that goal.[1]

“SARS-CoV-2 highlights the importance of funding science and the next generation of virologists in an effort to stay ahead of deadly pandemics,” said Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President of the GVN. “We are pleased to join Abbott to ensure these scientists receive topflight training in the identification of unknown diseases through surveillance, viral genomic sequencing analysis and bioinformatics. Further, we look forward to building research capacity around the world, especially in developing nations.”

Building scientific capability to stay ahead of viral threats

Last year, Abbott established the Pandemic Defense Coalition, the first-of-its-kind, industry-led, global scientific network dedicated to the early detection of, and rapid response to, future pandemic threats. The Coalition comprises 14 entities, including networks, governments, and public health organizations on five continents that are actively identifying, analyzing, tracking and testing viral threats.

“Our world is more connected than ever so a viral threat somewhere is a viral threat everywhere,” said Gavin Cloherty, PhD, head of Infectious Disease Research and the Pandemic Defense Coalition, Abbott. “That’s why it is so important to start training the next generation of virus hunters and public health experts in every corner of the world to raise our pandemic defenses to stay ahead of both known and unknown pathogens.”

The Fellowship will support one-year post-doctoral training fellowship for applicants with a MD, PhD, or DVM degree(s) with the potential to extend to a two-year program.  GVN centers of excellence and affiliates will host participants who will complete a comprehensive laboratory training to develop skills and contacts within GVN’s international community of medical virologists.  They will also master the skills of identifying new pathogens and increasing research capacity.

“Fellowships such as these are integral in helping developing nations build their capacity to prevent and prepare for future pandemics,” said Christine Carrington, PhD, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Virology at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, a GVN Affiliate, and a member of GVN’s Emerging Pathogens Discovery Network Watch Group.  “GVN’s resources are truly a global asset, particularly as it relates to expanding the skill sets of emerging medical virologists through elite cross-training opportunities at GVN’s centers of excellence and affiliates.”

Collaborating across private-public partnerships to benefit world health

The GVN is a global authority and resource for viral diseases posing threats to mankind.  It enhances the world’s ability to address viral threats and delivers scholarly exchange programs for recruiting and training young scientists in human and animal virology. The GVN serves as a resource to governments and international organizations seeking advice about viral disease threats, prevention or response strategies, and advocates for research and training on virus infections and their many disease manifestations.

“One of the core reasons my colleagues and I founded the GVN was to cultivate an environment to advance and train researchers, and to prepare them to take collective responsibility for current and future viral threats,” said Robert Gallo, MD, The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence, and Co-Founder and International Scientific Advisor of the GVN.  “We are pleased that Abbott shares this mission to improving public health equity and safeguarding our future generations through the latest education and training opportunities.”

For more information on GVN’s Fellowship Programs, please contact [email protected]

About the Global Virus Network (GVN)

The Global Virus Network (GVN) is essential and critical in the preparedness, defense and first research response to emerging, existing and unidentified viruses that pose a clear and present threat to public health, working in close coordination with established national and international institutions. It is a coalition comprised of eminent human and animal virologists from 69 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 37 countries worldwide, working collaboratively to train the next generation, advance knowledge about how to identify and diagnose pandemic viruses, mitigate and control how such viruses spread and make us sick, as well as develop drugs, vaccines and treatments to combat them. No single institution in the world has expertise in all viral areas other than the GVN, which brings together the finest medical virologists to leverage their individual expertise and coalesce global teams of specialists on the scientific challenges, issues and problems posed by pandemic viruses. The GVN is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, please visit www.gvn.org. Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews.

 

Media Contact:

Nora Samaranayake, GVN
410-706-1966
[email protected]

[1] https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/hs.2019.0119

‘LIVE’ POLIO VACCINE FIRES UP IMMUNE SYSTEM PROVIDING PROTECTION FROM SARS-CoV-2 INFECTION

Global Virus Network (GVN) studies suggest that the oral polio vaccine can protect people in developing nations that do not yet have access to COVID vaccines

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, March 31, 2022: Two new studies from the Global Virus Network (GVN) in partnership with the Petroleum Industry Health Organization of Iran provide evidence that getting the oral polio vaccine made from live, weakened poliovirus may protect people from COVID-19 infection by stimulating the immune system.

One of these studies demonstrated a lower incidence of COVID infections in countries in which people received the ‘live’ polio vaccine compared to countries that only received the polio vaccine that does not contain a live virus. These findings were published on March 17, 2022, in PLOS One.

Another report from the research team showed that when young children received the ‘live’ polio vaccine their mothers, who were indirectly exposed to the poliovirus vaccine, did not get infected with COVID. This study was published late last year in JAMA Network Open.

Within a few hours of exposure to any pathogens — including weakened viruses like those in the oral polio vaccine —, the immune system activates its first line-of-defense. This defense produces an immune response to a broad variety of pathogen-related molecules and ramps up the immune system’s readiness for invaders: a process sometimes called ‘trained innate immunity.’ The outcome from one of these newest studies indicate that this trained innate immune response spurred by vaccination using the live poliovirus may provide protection for up to 6 months against COVID infection.

The researchers say that this implies that these live vaccines, technically known as live attenuated vaccines, may be used temporarily to protect people in low-income countries that do not yet have access to COVID vaccines.

“Although countries like the U.S. and those in Europe are dropping pandemic restrictions, many people in lower income countries remain unvaccinated due to lack of supply. Individuals in these countries are still at high risk for COVID infection and potential complications, particularly since these regions still lack the latest treatments and enough ventilators for those who need them,” said co-author Shyam Kottilil, MBBS, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Clinical Care and Research, Institute of Human Virology, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and senior advisor to the GVN. “These live vaccines may provide a stop gap to reduce hospitalizations and deaths until we can get these people COVID vaccines.”

Senior author on the studies Robert Gallo, MD, The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence, and Co-Founder of the GVN and Chair of the GVN’s Scientific Leadership Board, said, “Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, prior to development of effective vaccines we proposed using live attenuated vaccines as a temporary solution to boost immunity until the vaccine could be developed. This idea directly stemmed from my GVN colleague and co-author Dr. Konstantin Chumakov, whose parents were vaccine researchers in the 1970s Soviet Union. His parents observed that flu rates seemed to drop in those people given the oral polio vaccine. Other GVN colleagues joined us in advocating for studies to determine if these live attenuated vaccines would be a feasible strategy during the coronavirus pandemic. Now we have some of the first evidence that they do offer protection. I hope funders take notice and increase support for these types of trials that study the innate immune response and provide significant hope in mitigating future pandemics.”

Co-author Konstantin Chumakov, PhD, a GVN Center of Excellence Director, said, “These observations are yet another confirmation that live vaccines induce broad protection against infections caused by pathogens other than their direct target. They urgently call for the direct prospective clinical studies of this phenomenon that could lead to the development of a novel class of vaccines based on stimulation of trained innate immunity. Such vaccines could become the badly needed universal countermeasure against emerging infections.”

“The GVN serves as a catalyst to bring together the world’s foremost virologists,” Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President of the GVN, Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Innovation at University of South Florida (USF), and Professor, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal Medicine at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the GVN Southeast U.S. Regional Headquarters. “We are pleased to work with varying nations to initiate these important clinical trials.”

In the PLOS One study, the researchers compared infection rates per 100,000 people in 146 countries that received both the live and the injectable polio vaccine, which does not contain live virus, compared to 56 countries that only used the injectable, non-live version. They found infection rates in countries that did not use the live polio vaccine were about three times higher than those that did use the live polio vaccine.

For the JAMA Network Open study, the researchers followed 419 mothers in Iran whose young children were given the live polio vaccine compared to 3,771 mothers whose children did not receive the live polio vaccine. None of the mothers whose children received the live polio vaccine developed COVID, whereas 28 mothers whose children did not receive the live polio vaccine did contract COVID within 9 months. Researchers know that poliovirus and even the weakened virus from the vaccine can be shed in the stool. The researchers surmise that the mothers were exposed to virus when caring for their children through bathing and diaper changing.

“It is heartening to find similar study results obtained from very different approaches strengthening our hypothesis that using the oral vaccine may provide protection against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID,” said the first author on the studies Farrokh Habibzadeh, MD, Special Consultant on Public Health for the GVN and the Managing Director of the Research & Development Unit of the Petroleum Industry Health Organization of Shiraz, Iran. He added that, “This hypothesis should be tested in additional quality clinical trials, preferably conducted in countries where the oral polio vaccine is currently in use as part of their national immunization for polio.”

Co-author Kristen Stafford, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health at the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and member of the GVN, said, “Some high-income countries declare pandemics over when in fact they just transition to only affecting low-income countries. We do not want this pandemic to become like the HIV-epidemic, where years and years of delays led to millions of excess deaths because the antiretroviral medications were too limited in supply or expensive to reach those disproportionately affected. We need to find simpler, inexpensive solutions to protect people until they can get their full doses and boosters of the COVID vaccines.”

One of the limitations of the live, weakened vaccines, is that they are not recommended for people with suppressed immune systems, as it could lead to infection.

“The important observations that the oral polio vaccine may protect against different infections such as COVID-19 is crucial for future pandemic preparedness. Understanding the mechanisms of protection induced by the oral polio vaccine and other live attenuated vaccines can open the door for the development of improved vaccination strategies to protect against broader infections, and thus provide partial protection against new pathogens during a pandemic until specific vaccines can be developed,” said Mihai Netea, MD, PhD of the Department of Internal Medicine and Radboud Center for Infectious Diseases, Radboud University Medical Center, a GVN Center of Excellence, and GVN Center Director.

Additional authors on the studies include Mohammad Sajadi, MD, Professor of Medicine at the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and member of the GVN; Mahboobeh Yadollahie, MD, Ashraf Simi, BScN, Saeid Saeidimehr, MD, (JAMA Network Open only), Mohammad Rafiei, MD, (JAMA Network Open only), and Iman Hafizi-Rastani, MSc (PLOS One only) of the Petroleum Industry Health Organization of Iran.

The authors received no specific funding for this work.

Dr. Kottilil received grants from Gilead for other research and serves on the advisory boards of Merck and Regeneron

About the Global Virus Network (GVN)

The Global Virus Network (GVN) is essential and critical in the preparedness, defense and first research response to emerging, existing and unidentified viruses that pose a clear and present threat to public health, working in close coordination with established national and international institutions. It is a coalition comprised of eminent human and animal virologists from 69 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 37 countries worldwide, working collaboratively to train the next generation, advance knowledge about how to identify and diagnose pandemic viruses, mitigate and control how such viruses spread and make us sick, as well as develop drugs, vaccines and treatments to combat them. No single institution in the world has expertise in all viral areas other than the GVN, which brings together the finest medical virologists to leverage their individual expertise and coalesce global teams of specialists on the scientific challenges, issues and problems posed by pandemic viruses. The GVN is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, please visit gvn.org. Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews