Pandemic preparedness in a changing world: Fostering global collaboration to strengthen public health and respond to viral threats

The last 2 years have made us fully aware of the devastating effects that a global pandemic can have. We appear to be past the worst of it, but it’s too early to say that it’s over. It is not too early, however, to begin thinking about what can be done better when the precursor to the next pandemic comes along.

One of the keys to preventing—or at least managing—a future outbreak will be surveillance, which includes the creation of rapid detection systems for identifying viruses with pandemic potential and the real-time monitoring of current outbreaks that could transform into pandemics.

Download the full booklet from Science Website.

This publication provides a collection of important research, news, and editorial articles from Science leading up to and including the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes articles written by scientists—or “virus hunters”—in the Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition, a first-of-its-kind global partnership launched in 2021 with partners in 11 countries on five continents who are actively collecting, logging, and monitoring diverse pathogens in an effort to help head off the next pandemic.

For pandemic preparedness efforts to succeed, there will need to be increased global collaboration, transparency, and accountability among all concerned. Industry, academia, and government agencies will have to collaborate more closely than ever before. And the financial commitment will be significant—but when compared with what a pandemic will cost society in terms of lost lives and battered economies, it will be a relatively small price to pay.

CERI and KRISP had two featured publications in this Science supplement:

- A year of genomic surveillance reveals how the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic unfolded in Africa. Wilkinson E, Giovanetti M, Tegally H, San JE, Lessells R, et al. Science (2021), DOI: 10.1126/science.abj4336.

- Building genomic sequencing capacity in Africa to respond to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. de Oliveira T, Wilkinson E, Baxter C, Tegally H, Giandhari J, Naidoo Y, Pillay S, Science (2022),, 2022

News date: 2022-09-02


KRISP has been created by the coordinated effort of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the South African Medical Research Countil (SAMRC).

Location: K-RITH Tower Building
Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN
719 Umbilo Road, Durban, South Africa.
Director: Prof. Tulio de Oliveira