The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases classifies emerging diseases as, “Infectious diseases that have newly appeared in a population or have existed but are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range, or that are caused by one of the category A, B or C priority pathogens.”
Category A pathogens are those organisms/biological agents that pose the highest risk to national security and public health. Category B pathogens are the second highest priority organisms/biological agents. Finally, Category C pathogens are the third highest priority and include emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass dissemination in the future because of availability, ease of production and dissemination or because of the potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact. The NIAID priority pathogen list is periodically reviewed and is subject to revision in conjunction with federal partners.
Ranging amongst all categories of priority pathogens, the Duke Human Vaccine Institute primarily focuses on translational research devoted to developing vaccines and therapeutics for: HIV, Influenza, CMV, Syphilis, Tuberculosis, Gonorrhea, Zika, and Rotavirus.