TitleUsing Environmental Sampling to Enable Zoonotic Pandemic Preparedness.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsSanyal A, Agarwal S, Ramakrishnan U, Garg KM, Chattopadhyay B
JournalJ Indian Inst Sci
Date Published2022 Sep 07

The current pandemic caused by the SARS CoV-2, tracing back its origin possibly to a coronavirus associated with bats, has ignited renewed interest in understanding zoonotic spillovers across the globe. While research is more directed towards solving the problem at hand by finding therapeutic strategies and novel vaccine techniques, it is important to address the environmental drivers of pathogen spillover and the complex biotic and abiotic drivers of zoonoses. The availability of cutting-edge genomic technologies has contributed enormously to preempt viral emergence from wildlife. However, there is still a dearth of studies from species-rich South Asian countries, especially from India. In this review, we outline the importance of studying disease dynamics through environmental sampling from wildlife in India and how ecological parameters of both the virus and the host community may play a role in mediating cross-species spillovers. Non-invasive sampling using feces, urine, shed hair, saliva, shed skin, and feathers has been instrumental in providing genetic information for both the host and their associated pathogens. Here, we discuss the advances made in environmental sampling protocols and strategies to generate genetic data from such samples towards the surveillance and characterization of potentially zoonotic pathogens. We primarily focus on bat-borne or small mammal-borne zoonoses and propose a conceptual framework for non-invasive strategies to tackle the threat of emerging zoonotic infections.

Alternate JournalJ Indian Inst Sci
PubMed ID36093274
PubMed Central IDPMC9449264