From: Search strategy has influenced the discovery rate of human viruses (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Aug 20;110(34):13961-4)
|(A) The cumulative discoveries of human-pathogenic viruses in any organism (black) and their incrimination as a cause of human disease (green). (B) The cumulative discoveries of human-pathogenic arboviruses (red), and nonarboviruses (blue). (C) Yearly arboviruses and nonarboviruses discovered (red and blue points, respectively).|
For arthropod-borne viruses, which comprised 39% of pathogenic viruses, the discovery rate peaked at three per year during 1960–1969, but subsequently fell nearly to zero by 1980; however, the rate of discovery of nonarboviruses remained stable at about two per year from 1950 through 2010. The period of highest arbovirus discovery coincided with a comprehensive program supported by The Rockefeller Foundation of isolating viruses from humans, animals, and arthropod vectors at field stations in Latin America, Africa, and India. The productivity of this strategy illustrates the importance of location, approach, long-term commitment, and sponsorship in the discovery of emerging pathogens.