Global & Disaster Medicine

WHO: Prioritizing Emerging Infectious Diseases in Need of Research and Development

The World Health Organization R&D Blueprint aims to accelerate the availability of medical technologies during epidemics by focusing on a list of prioritized emerging diseases for which medical countermeasures are insufficient or nonexistent. The prioritization process has 3 components: a Delphi process to narrow down a list of potential priority diseases, a multicriteria decision analysis to rank the short list of diseases, and a final Delphi round to arrive at a final list of 10 diseases.

A group of international experts applied this process in January 2017, resulting in a list of 10 priority diseases. The robustness of the list was tested by performing a sensitivity analysis. The new process corrected major shortcomings in the pre–R&D Blueprint approach to disease prioritization and increased confidence in the results.

Multicriteria scores of diseases considered in the 2017 prioritization exercise for the development of the World Health Organization R&D Blueprint to prioritize emerging infectious diseases in need of research and development. A) Disease final ranking using the geometric average of the comparison matrices. B) Disease final ranking using the arithmetic average of the raw data. Error bars correspond to SD, indicating disagreement among experts. C) Disease final ranking using the SMART Vaccines

Multicriteria scores of diseases considered in the 2017 prioritization exercise for the development of the World Health Organization R&D Blueprint to prioritize emerging infectious diseases in need of research and development. A) Disease final ranking using the geometric average of the comparison matrices. B) Disease final ranking using the arithmetic average of the raw data. Error bars correspond to SD, indicating disagreement among experts. C) Disease final ranking using the SMART Vaccines prioritization tool (56). P1, Ebola virus infection; P2, Marburg virus infection; P3, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus infection; P4, severe acute respiratory syndrome; P5, Lassa virus infection; P6, Nipah virus infection; P7, Rift Valley fever; P8, Zika virus infection; P9, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever; P10, severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome; P11, South American hemorrhagic fever; P12, plague; P13, hantavirus infection.

Si Mehand M, Millett P, Al-Shorbaji F, Roth C, Kieny MP, Murgue B. World Health Organization methodology to prioritize emerging infectious diseases in need of research and development. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018 Sep [date cited]. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2409.171427


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