A group of scientists has predicted that the emergence of novel pathogens, such as the currently prevalent coronavirus, can lead to the long-term persistence of more acute, fast transmitting and highly virulent variants.
The group includes Professor Sasaki Akira of the Graduate University for Advanced Studies, SOKENDAI.
The group applied mathematical methodology to analyze pathogenic variance and human immunity.
Pathogens, including viruses, are neutralized when humans acquire adequate immunity. But they could escape the body's defense system by repeatedly mutating.
The group says its research shows that pathogens that can quickly propagate in greater amounts are more capable of evading human immunity and become more transmissible.
Such pathogens can cause severer diseases in their infected hosts, possibly becoming more frequently prevalent.
Sasaki says many different infectious diseases still exist as their pathogens have evaded the human immune system.
He says various measures should be taken on the assumption that the coronavirus could become such a pathogen.