Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched Strategies to Prevent Spillover (STOP Spillover) a five-year, $100 million project to anticipate and address threats posed by the emerging zoonotic diseases that pose the greatest risk of jumping from animals to humans. STOP Spillover will play a significant role in the implementation of the U.S. Government’s Global Health Security Strategy , including support for the Global Health Security Agenda .
Tufts University will implement STOP Spillover with a consortium of wildlife and human-disease experts that includes the Africa One Health University Network; the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University; Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team; the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B); Internews Network; John Snow International Research and Training Institute, Inc.; South East Asia One Health University Network; Tetra Tech ARD; the University of California at Los Angeles; the University of Glasgow; the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and the University of Washington.
With the consortium’s cross-disciplinary experience and deep relationships in partner countries, STOP Spillover will contribute directly to the reduction of future outbreaks from known zoonotic viruses. The award will apply USAID’s understanding of risk; build on our prior investments; and deploy our prior experience through working with local governments, stakeholders, and high-risk communities to develop and institutionalize innovative, country-specific, and sustainable approaches so they are well-prepared to prevent future outbreaks. STOP Spillover will focus on strengthening national capacity in a limited number of targeted countries to 1) understand the factors that contribute to the risk of spillover of pathogens from wildlife to humans; 2) develop, assess, and implement early risk-reduction interventions that will reduce the spillover and spread of these threats; and, 3) recognize and respond rapidly to zoonotic spillover events.
Considering more than 70 percent of emerging infectious diseases originate from animals, STOP Spillover is a critical next step in the evolution of USAID’s work to understand and address the risks posed by zoonotic diseases that can “spillover” – or be transmitted – from animals to humans. Since 2005, USAID has invested in the foundational understanding of the risk presented by the spillover of zoonotic diseases into humans, which has shown that outbreaks can start–and stop–at the country level, and that early, country-level and country-led interventions are key to preventing or reducing the impact of outbreaks.