Online Global Ranavirus Reporting System developed by EcoHealth Alliance and USFS

NEW YORK – August 4, 2015 

 

EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that focuses on local conservation and global health issues, and the U.S. Forest Service announced the release of an online disease tracking portal known as the Global Ranavirus Reporting System (GRRS). Ranaviruses are emerging pathogens capable of causing disease in amphibians, reptiles and fish. “Ranaviruses are a global problem, much like malaria or AIDS. Mapping its distribution will help preserve biodiversity,” stated Dr. David Lesbarrères, Laurentian University. The GRRS was built on the EcoHealth Alliance’s Mantle platform in consultation with the Global Ranavirus Consortium, a network of scientists with ranavirus expertise. The GRRS is an open-source web platform designed for the storage, sharing, and visualization of global ranavirus surveillance data, including diagnostics and genetic isolate differences.  The portal is designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of users inclusive of natural resource managers and researchers. Ranavirus scientists in the field or the lab will be able to upload datasets in multiple formats to the system, where they will be stored for easy download and analysis. GRRS users have fine-grained access controls to protect and share their uploaded datasets, and examine datasets in views appropriate to their content (e.g., tables, maps, and charts).

 

The scientific community is impressed with the capabilities of the GRRS. “The GRRS fills a critical gap in ranavirus research by providing a user friendly platform for data entry and extraction that will be invaluable for researchers and managers seeking to understand ranavirus epidemiology at multiple scales,” explained Dr. Jason Hoverman, Purdue University. Dr. Stephen Price of University College London added, “Ranaviruses can have severe impacts on amphibians at the community level and the GRRS provides a great tool to share surveillance data. The GRRS has the potential to provide a stronger link between research and wildlife management.”

 

The GRRS represents a new generation of disease mapping and analysis, with its geospatial references linked to critical case data. Dr. Matt Gray of the Global Ranavirus Consortium stated, “The GRRS will rapidly advance the scientific community’s understanding of ranavirus epidemiology, and help natural resource agencies and other organizations respond intelligently to new outbreaks.  I am certain the GRRS will become a model for future infectious disease reporting and biosurveillance.”

 

Scientists and veterinarians are encouraged to upload records of ranavirus cases.  As more records are added, the true utility of the GRRS will be recognized.  Please contribute to discussions on the GRRS at: @EcoHealthNYC  @mantle_io  @RanavirusGRC

 

EcoHealth Alliance is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization headquartered in New York City that works globally to lead cutting-edge research into the critical connections between human and wildlife health and delicate ecosystems. With this science we develop solutions that promote conservation and prevent pandemics.

 

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About EcoHealth Alliance

Building on over 40 years of groundbreaking science, EcoHealth Alliance is a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and safeguarding human health from the emergence of disease. The organization develops ways to combat the effects of damaged ecosystems on human and wildlife health.  Using environmental and health data covering the past 60 years, EcoHealth Alliance scientists created the first-ever, global disease hotspots map that identified at-risk regions, to help predict and prevent the next pandemic crisis. That work is the foundation of EcoHealth Alliance’s rigorous, science-based approach, focused at the intersection of the environment, health, and capacity building.  Working in the U.S. and more than 20 countries worldwide, EcoHealth Alliance’s strength is founded on innovations in research, training, global partnerships, and policy initiatives.  For more information, please visit www.ecohealthalliance.org. Twitter: @EcoHealthNYC

 

Press Contact: Anthony M. Ramos, ramos@ecohealthalliance.org, 212.380.4469

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