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Building regional infectious disease resilience

The Infectious Disease Resilience mission will help improve the Indo-Pacific’s preparation for and response to biothreats.

We will do this by supporting regional partners in strengthening laboratory capabilities and data analytics. We will also introduce fit for purpose science and technology solutions to provide laboratories with the tools and knowledge they need.

Global engagement is one of CSIRO's six strategic pillars, and sees us working closely with international partners to tackle global challenges using science, technology and innovation.

By enhancing infectious disease resilience in the Indo-Pacific we’ll help safeguard human health, promote economic growth, and minimise the risk of infectious diseases reaching Australia.


Important statistics

75% of emerging human diseases 

are zoonotic (animal to human)

300% increase in outbreaks

seen in zoonotic diseases over the past 30 years

~2.5 billion cases of illness and 2.7 million deaths

from zoonoses every year

540,000 - 850,000 unknown viruses

existing in nature are estimated to be zoonotic 


More than a million people in the Indo-Pacific have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It won’t be the last biothreat the region faces.

Human impacts and environmental pressures are creating increased threats to our health. COVID-19 has shown how dangerous pathogens with no test to identify them, vaccines to prevent them or therapeutics to treat them pose a real risk to public health and global economies.

The Indo-Pacific is a hotspot for infectious diseases. Recently this has included SARS, COVID-19, MERS, and Influenza. However, many countries in the region remain vulnerable because their laboratory and detection systems can be improved.


The Infectious Disease Resilience mission aims to fast-track the development of regional solutions.

Rather than individual projects focusing on a single country, the work will be multidisciplinary and scaled to achieve impact across the region.

We will partner with other organisations to deliver impact across the infectious diseases ecosystem in areas where CSIRO has globally recognised expertise:

  • Laboratory strengthening
  • Laboratory networking
  • Pre-clinical testing of vaccines/therapeutics
  • Diagnostics
  • Health information systems
  • Disease surveillance
  • Vector surveillance and control
  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  • Small scale manufacturing of medical products

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