The World Health Organization (WHO) has summed up the selection of experts for the WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens, SAGO. This is stated in a message published on the organization's website.
SAGO will advise WHO on research into the origin of new and emerging pathogens with epidemic and pandemic potential, including SARS-CoV-2.
“The emergence of new viruses that can cause epidemics and pandemics is a fact of nature, and although SARS-CoV-2 is the last such virus, this process will not end there,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus. “Understanding where new pathogens come from is essential to prevent future outbreaks of epidemic and pandemic potential and requires a wide range of knowledge. We are very pleased with the level of experts selected for SAGO from around the world and look forward to working with them to make the world a safer place, ”added the WHO Director General.
In total, more than 700 applications were received for the competition, 26 scientists from various fields of knowledge were selected, including epidemiology, veterinary medicine, ecology, clinical medicine, virology, genomics, molecular epidemiology, molecular biology, general biology, food safety, biosafety, biosecurity and public health. The composition of SAGO reflects geographical and gender diversity, the WHO stressed.
As an advisory body to WHO, SAGO will perform the following functions:
- advise WHO on research into the origin of new and emerging pathogens with epidemic and pandemic potential;
- advise WHO on prioritization of research and field research into the origins of emerging and re-emerging pathogens;
- provide the WHO Secretariat with an independent assessment of all available scientific and technical results from global studies of the origin of SARS-CoV-2;
- advise the WHO Secretariat on the development, monitoring and support of SARS-CoV-2 provenance studies;
- provide WHO with additional advice and support in future WHO international missions to investigate the origin of SARS-CoV-2 or other emerging pathogens.
The material is being supplemented.