Many of the important and emerging infectious diseases of humans are zoonotic, and most are also potential weapons of bioterrorism. Furthermore, a number of these diseases have reservoirs in the livestock and wildlife of our nation. The goal of this COBRE is to support new investigators and provide the resources needed to advance our understanding of infectious disease pathogenesis and facilitate development of novel therapeutic treatments.
Zoonotic and emerging infectious diseases represent an increasing and very real threat to global health, and it is essential that we expand our understanding of the pathogenesis and prevention of these diseases because of the increasing density of human populations, the increased exposure to domestic animal populations, and the crowding of wildlife into limited areas with frequent human contact. In Montana, the situation is especially prominent where many zoonotic and/or emerging infectious diseases have reservoirs in livestock and wildlife and contact between the human population, livestock, and wildlife is widespread. To address the increasing need for infectious disease research, the Center for Zoonotic and Emerging Infectious Diseases is focused on increasing the number of infectious disease researchers and enhancing the basic infrastructure for state-of-the-art infectious disease research in Montana.