9 June 2020

Global approach to COVID-19 paper highlighted

The peer-reviewed journal of Experimental Biology and Medicine has selected five papers demonstrating advances in COVID-19 prevention and treatment.

The lead author of one of the five highlighted articles is Professor Sulev Koks, head of Genetic Epidemiology Research at the Perron Institute and the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics at Murdoch University.

The paper is titled: “Commentary “COVID-19: Time for precision epidemiology”.

“It provides a short overview on the main reasons why COVID-19 is inundating and often overwhelming health care systems in many countries and regions and what we have to do on a global scale to overcome this pandemic,” Professor Sulev Koks said.

“It sets out what I and my co-authors believe are some of the most important steps the world needs to take to stop the pandemic and to be better prepared for any similar outbreaks in the future.

“The solution proposed is based on global, massive and repeated testing.

“Use of advanced molecular science to identify the journey of the virus in the population would give the precise scale of the viral spread. This approach, requiring a cooperative international effort from researchers, diagnostic laboratories, hospital systems, universities and research institutes, would speed up the mapping of the clinical course and virus cycle, based on highly diverse patient populations.”

Infectious diseases such as COVID-19 present big challenges as well as opportunities for the field of precision epidemiology. Precision epidemiology uses genomic technologies to enable a targeted approach to infectious disease control at both the individual and population level.

“Precision epidemiology would help answer the many unknowns about COVID-19 and its variants and would be of enormous assistance in targeting those at most at risk in the community,” Professor Koks said.

The authors are: Sulev Koks (Australia), Robert W Williams (USA), John Quinn and Farzin Farzaneh (UK), Nicola Conran (Brazil), Shaw-Jeng Tsai (Taiwan), Gordon Awandare (Ghana), and Steven R Goodman (USA).

Read the paper here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1535370220919349

Sulev Koks at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics

Photo credit: Murdoch University