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  • [In January 2020,

  • Christian Happi and Pardis Sabeti presented an Audacious idea]

  • [Sentinel: An early warning system to detect and track the next pandemic]

  • [Here's how it would work ...]

  • Christian Happi: Sentinel is a proactive early warning system to preempt pandemics.

  • It is built on three major pillars.

  • Pardis Sabeti: The first pillar is Detect.

  • Christian and I have been studying infectious diseases together

  • around the world for two decades.

  • We have been using genome sequencing.

  • Reading out the complete genetic information of a microbe,

  • it allows us to identify viruses, even those we've never seen before,

  • track them as they spread

  • and watch for new mutations.

  • And now with the powerful gene-editing technology CRISPR,

  • we can use this genetic information

  • to rapidly design exquisitely sensitive diagnostic tests for any microbe.

  • CH: One of these tools is called SHERLOCK.

  • It can be used to test known viruses on simple paper strips.

  • It is very inexpensive,

  • and frontline health workers can use SHERLOCK

  • to detect the most common or the most threatening viruses

  • within an hour.

  • PS: The other tool is CARMEN.

  • It requires a lab, but it can test for hundreds of viruses simultaneously.

  • So hospital lab staff can test patient samples

  • for a broad range of viruses

  • within a day.

  • Our second pillar is Connect.

  • Connect everyone and share this information

  • across the public health community.

  • In most outbreaks,

  • hospital staff share case information through paper, Excel -- if at all.

  • This makes tracking an outbreak through space and time

  • and coordinating a response

  • extremely difficult.

  • So we're developing a cloud-based system and mobile applications

  • that connect community health workers,

  • clinicians, public health teams -- everyone --

  • and allows them to upload data,

  • perform analysis, share insights

  • and coordinate a response and action plan

  • in real time.

  • CH: Our third pillar is Empower.

  • An outbreak surveillance system can only succeed

  • if we empower frontline health workers that are already out there

  • taking care of communities.

  • It requires a lot of training.

  • Pardis and I are very much aware of that.

  • We've spent the past 10 years

  • training hundreds of young African scientists and clinicians.

  • Over the next five years, we will train an additional 1,000 health workers

  • to use Sentinel detection tools

  • and empower them to train their colleagues.

  • This way, we will improve the original health care system

  • and integrate surveillance into medical practice.

  • [Since presenting their Audacious plan at TED, the world has changed ...]

  • Briar Goldberg: So here we are. We're recording this.

  • It's April 7th, 2020,

  • and obviously, we are in the throes of this crazy global pandemic

  • caused by this new coronavirus.

  • So you two have been working together forever,

  • and you really came together pretty aggressively

  • with the Ebola crisis back in 2014.

  • What does it feel like from your perspective?

  • CH: Pretty much six years after the Ebola outbreak,

  • we're really facing another crisis,

  • and we still pretty much, like, we never learned from the previous crisis.

  • And that, really, for me, is heartbreaking.

  • PS: I think that this pandemic has shown us how unprepared we are

  • everywhere in the world.

  • Christian and our partners together had diagnostics at our hospital sites

  • in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Senegal in early February.

  • Most states in the United States didn't have it until far later.

  • It tells us that we are all in this together,

  • and we are all very much behind the curve.

  • BG: So, this Sentinel system is amazing,

  • but I know that the question that's on everybody's mind is:

  • How is that playing into the here and now?

  • PS: You know, we describe Sentinel as a pandemic preemption system,

  • and here we are in a pandemic.

  • But what's great is that, actually, the same tools you need

  • to preempt a pandemic

  • are the ones that you need to respond to one.

  • And so all of the technologies that we have laid out --

  • the point-of-care testing, the multiplex testing,

  • the discovery and tracking of the virus as it's changing,

  • and the overlay of the mobile applications to dashboard --

  • are all critical.

  • CH: For us, it is a war.

  • We are basically committed for 24 hours' turnaround time

  • in order to give results,

  • and that requires for us to work around the clock nonstop.

  • So it's a pretty challenging moment.

  • We are away from family.

  • At least I have the privilege to see family today,

  • and then I'm sure tomorrow I'm heading back in the trenches.

  • In my lab, we sequenced the first COVID-19 genome

  • on the African continent,

  • and that really was done within 48 hours.

  • This is revolutionary coming from Africa

  • and then making this information available for the global health community

  • to see what the virus within Africa looks like.

  • I believe that with technologies and knowledge

  • and then sharing information,

  • we can do better and then we can overcome.

  • PS: The whole idea of Sentinel

  • is that we all stand guard over each other.

  • We all watch.

  • Each one of us is a sentinel.

  • Each one of us, being able to monitor what is making us sick,

  • can share that with the rest of our community.

  • And I think that is what I profoundly want,

  • is for us to all stand guard

  • and watch over each other.

  • [Dr. Pardis Sabeti and Dr. Christian Happi]

  • [Ingenious scientists.

  • Courageous partners.

  • Global heroes.]

[In January 2020,

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B2 TED sentinel christian pandemic ch health

A virus detection network to stop the next pandemic | Pardis Sabeti and Christian Happi

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/03
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