PREDICT project, providing support to countries in detecting COVID-19, receives six-month extension

PREDICT project, providing support to countries in detecting COVID-19, receives six-month extension

Photo Credits: JOELLE TAHTA / AGGIE

The project, initiated in 2009, is focused on developing precautionary initiatives for responding to infectious diseases like SARS

PREDICT, a part of the Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program administered through the UC Davis One Health Institute, received a six-month, $2.26M extension on April 1 to offer emergency technical support in detecting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 

The project, which began in 2009, was supposed to end in March 2020, but was given an extension by the U.S. Agency for International Development. So far, it has provided data to the National Institute of Health, hinting that SARS-CoV-2 had pandemic potential, connected COVID-19 cases with the “wildlife-human interface” in China and provided early testing protocols for COVID-19.

In an interview with UC Davis News, Professor Tracey Goldstein, PREDICT’s pathogen detection lead and an associate director of the UC Davis One Health Institute, called both the labs PREDICT has trained and the networks cultivated through the program key for detection of initial cases.

“They are a trusted resource in their countries, are assisting with coronavirus detection and included on government taskforces to support the response,” Goldstein said. 

PREDICT is run out of the UC Davis One Health Institute, but it is part of a larger network of cross-disciplinary labs and partnerships. According to the institute, One Health partners approach global health problems by acknowledging that they are part of the network of animal, human and environmental health.
PREDICT, along with other EPT partners, played a role in studying, controlling and understanding the 2014 Ebola outbreak and received a $100 million grant to continue the work it did during the Ebola pandemic. 

Jonna Mazet, the director of the One Health Institute, said in an interview with UC Davis News that the EPT program was instrumental in creating a platform that facilitated global health problem-solving.

“PREDICT and its partners have enabled a platform for effective collaboration across disciplines and geographic borders,” she said.  

Currently, PREDICT is supporting government evaluations of potential COVID-19 cases in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 

Written by: Janelle Marie Salanga — campus@theaggie.org