Emerging Infectious Diseases

Building on decades of prescient investments into broad capabilities and a product-oriented research infrastructure, the U.S. Army and WRAIR have been able to consistently maintain a posture of readiness and response to the most pressing pathogens that threaten U.S. and allied forces.

In recent years, however, as the onslaught of emerging infectious diseases (EID), and the public health emergencies they precipitate, has intensified (Zika, Ebola, and pandemic influenza), WRAIR had to turn legacy assets to the task of responding to each outbreak. In 2018, WRAIR announced the creation of a new Emerging Infectious Diseases branch (EIDB), with the explicit mission to survey, anticipate and counter the mounting threat of emerging infectious diseases of key importance to U.S. forces in the homeland and abroad.


Research Areas


Wound Infection PhotoWRAIR is improving biopreparedness in key regions through its Joint West Africa Research Group (JWARG) and the Partnership for Research in the Middle East (PRIME).


Diarrheal Diseases PhotoIn the midst of the 2016 Zika virus epidemic, WRAIR—working in synchrony with other government agencies, academic institutions and industry partners—developed a Zika purified inactivated virus (ZPIV) vaccine candidate, advancing it from initial concept to Phase 1 clinical trials within nine months


MRSN PhotoWRAIR was a pioneer in early testing of Ebola vaccine candidates, utilizing its established network of HIV study clinical study sites in Africa to pivot towards Ebola countermeasures. In total, WRAIR has conducted more than half a dozen Ebola or other filovirus vaccine candidate clinical trials to date.



Preclinical Studies

Wound Infection PhotoVDB’s preclinical effort integrates molecular virology expertise, animal model capabilities, as well as established and exploratory serological assays to develop and evaluate vaccines and other virus countermeasures.

Clinical Studies

Diarrheal Diseases PhotoWorking closely with partners at the Clinical Trials Center, VDB conducts clinical trials to determine safety and efficacy of new products to protect Soldiers from the viral disease threats.