The Origins and Future of Sentinel: An Early-Warning System for Pandemic Preemption and Response.

Yolanda Botti-Lodovico, Parvathy Nair, Dolo Nosamiefan, Matthew Stremlau, Stephen Schaffner, Sebastian Agignoae, John Aiyepada, Fehintola Ajogbasile, George Akpede, Foday Alhasan, Kristian Andersen, Danny Asogun, Oladele Ayodeji, Aida Badiane, Kayla Barnes, Matthew Bauer, Antoinette Bell-Kareem, Muoebonam Benard, Ebo Benevolence, Osiemi Blessing, Chloe Boehm, Matthew Boisen, Nell Bond, Luis Branco, Michael Butts, Amber Carter, Andres Colubri, Awa Deme, Katherine DeRuff, Younousse Diédhiou, Akhilomen Edamhande, Siham Elhamoumi, Emily Engel, Philomena Eromon, Mosoka Fallah, Onikepe Folarin, Ben Fry, Robert Garry, Amy Gaye, Michael Gbakie, Sahr Gevao, Gabrielle Gionet, Adrianne Gladden-Young, Augustine Goba, Jules Gomis, Anise Happi, Mary Houghton, Chikwe Ihekwuazu, Christopher Iruolagbe, Jonathan Jackson, Simbirie Jalloh, Jeremy Johnson, Lansana Kanneh, Adeyemi Kayode, Molly Kemball, Ojide Kingsley, Veronica Koroma, Dylan Kotliar, Samar Mehta, Hayden Metsky, Airende Michael, Marzieh Mirhashemi, Kayvon Modjarrad, Mambu Momoh, Cameron Myhrvold, Okonofua Naregose, Tolla Ndiaye, Mouhamadou Ndiaye, Aliou Ndiaye, Erica Normandin, Ikponmwosa Odia, Judith Oguzie, Sylvanus Okogbenin, Peter Okokhere, Johnson Okolie, Idowu Olawoye, Testimony Olumade, Paul Oluniyi, Omigie Omoregie, Daniel Park, Mariétou Paye, Brittany Petros, Anthony Philippakis, Abechi Priscilla, Alan Ricks, Anne Rimoin, John Sandi, John Schieffelin, Monica Schreiber, Mame Seck, Sameed Siddiqui, Katherine Siddle, Allison Smither, Mouhamad Sy, Ngayo Sy, Christopher Tomkins-Tinch, Oyewale Tomori, Chinedu Ugwu, Jessica Uwanibe, Eghosasere Uyigue, Dada Victoria, Anika Vinzé, Megan Vodzak, Nicole Welch, Haja Wurie, Daba Zoumarou, Donald Grant, Daouda Ndiaye, Bronwyn MacInnis, Pardis Sabeti, Christian Happi
Publication Year


Journal Article

While investigating a signal of adaptive evolution in humans at the gene LARGE, we encountered an intriguing finding by Dr. Stefan Kunz that the gene plays a critical role in Lassa virus binding and entry. This led us to pursue field work to test our hypothesis that natural selection acting on LARGE-detected in the Yoruba population of Nigeria-conferred resistance to Lassa Fever in some West African populations. As we delved further, we conjectured that the "emerging" nature of recently discovered diseases like Lassa fever is related to a newfound capacity for detection, rather than a novel viral presence, and that humans have in fact been exposed to the viruses that cause such diseases for much longer than previously suspected. Dr. Stefan Kunz's critical efforts not only laid the groundwork for this discovery, but also inspired and catalyzed a series of events that birthed Sentinel, an ambitious and large-scale pandemic prevention effort in West Africa. Sentinel aims to detect and characterize deadly pathogens before they spread across the globe, through implementation of its three fundamental pillars: Detect, Connect, and Empower. More specifically, Sentinel is designed to detect known and novel infections rapidly, connect and share information in real time to identify emerging threats, and empower the public health community to improve pandemic preparedness and response anywhere in the world. We are proud to dedicate this work to Stefan Kunz, and eagerly invite new collaborators, experts, and others to join us in our efforts.

Date Published
2021 Aug 13
ISSN Number
Alternate Journal