Public health officials warn of danger if genetic sequence data is included under the Nagoya Protocol

October 26, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Medical Xpress report
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A trio of public officials is issuing a warning in a Policy Forum piece in the journal Science regarding the call to include genetic sequence data under the Nagoya Protocol. In their essay, Carolina dos S. Ribeiro, Marion P. Koopmans and George B. Haringhuizen with the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment and Erasmus Medical Center, suggest that such a move could jeopardize international efforts to combat a future pandemic.

The Nagoya Protocol is a binding treaty adopted and signed by many nations of the world back in 2010. Its purpose was to protect the rights of entities involved in the creation of products through genetic research. The idea was to make sure that those groups who developed products owned the rights to benefit from them. The protocol extended to governmental rights, which led to sometimes complicated processes involved in obtaining permission to obtain and use samples. Recently, some in the field have suggested that genetic sequence data be added to the protocol. In their essay, the authors suggest such a move could be dangerous due to the complexity involved in allowing the sharing of genetic resources.

The authors suggest that inclusion of proprietary genetic sequence data in the protocol could result in preventing researchers around the world from acting swiftly to respond to outbreaks of deadly diseases, particularly those that could evolve into a pandemic. They note that sharing of genetic sequence data between researchers working to stop such an epidemic would be critical to the success of such an endeavor. They also note that the process of obtaining permission to receive such information from others under the protocol has become complex and difficult in many cases. They outline four scenarios, which they describe as models, to demonstrate the many hoops that researchers must jump through in order to obtain samples currently covered under the protocol—and how that requirement in a crisis would work against fighting off a rapidly expanding pandemic.

The authors conclude by suggesting that work to reduce barriers to access during times of crisis in the interests of public health. They offer examples of material transfer agreements that could be created and used during such times to prevent bottlenecks when speed is of the essence.

More information: "Threats to timely sharing of pathogen sequence data," Science 26 Oct 2018:Vol. 362, Issue 6413, pp. 404-406. DOI: 10.1126/science.aau5229

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Infants born to obese mothers risk developing liver disease, obesity

November 16, 2018
Infant gut microbes altered by their mother's obesity can cause inflammation and other major changes within the baby, increasing the risk of obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease later in life, according to researchers ...

New study shows NKT cell subsets play a large role in the advancement of NAFLD

November 16, 2018
Since 2015 it has been known that the gut microbiota could have a direct impact on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which affects up to 12% of adults and is a leading cause of chronic liver disease. In the November ...

Antibiotic prescribing influenced by team dynamics within hospitals

November 15, 2018
Antibiotic prescribing by doctors is influenced by team dynamics and cultures within hospitals.

Discovery suggests new route to fight infection, disease

November 14, 2018
New research reveals how a single protein interferes with the immune system when exposed to the bacterium that causes Legionnaires' disease, findings that could have broad implications for development of medicines to fight ...

Zika may hijack mother-fetus immunity route

November 14, 2018
To cross the placenta, Zika virus may hijack the route by which acquired immunity is transferred from mother to fetus, new research suggests.

New research aims to help improve uptake of hepatitis C testing

November 14, 2018
New research published in Scientific Reports shows persisting fears about HIV infection may impact testing uptake for the hepatitis C Virus (HCV).


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (1) Oct 26, 2018
Another danger of uncontrolled Capitalism
Whydening Gyre
4 / 5 (2) Oct 26, 2018
if an individual had an advantageous characteristic in his DNA and someone else sequences it, who truly owns that gene sequence?
1 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2018
Why WG, in our systematic corporate-state of corruption? Whoever could afford the most predatory lawyers and greediest lawmakers. And bought Fuhrer Putin's permission.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2018
A must read !!! I would like to thank Tufmore and the Seventh Spirit for bringing back my wife, who left me and

the children for almost two months and abandoned us not until after Dr Tufmore help me do something and my husband

came back to us . I am very thankful for Dr Tufmore. I pray that God Almighty will give you the power and wisdom to

help more people who have a similar problem as me.
For help, you can reach him through his email address

he can also help you in the following

1. Cures all types of sickness
1. Getting your lover back.
2. misscarriage spell
3. herpes spell
4. Get a job spell.
5. Pregnancy spell
6. Marriage spell
9. Popularity spell
7. Cancer spell
8. long life spell
9. HIV/aids spell
10.HPV spell

contact him

today on his email and your problem we be solve contact him via Email:
not rated yet Oct 28, 2018
Another danger of uncontrolled Capitalism

Irrelevant, since no one uses that; and see the article on existing controls.
not rated yet Oct 28, 2018
The Nagoya protocol was originally intended to prevent pharmaceutical companies from making billions off the genetic material of developing countries. What eventually was signed, however, doesn't do that, it solely kills non-commercial biodiversity research. You simply can't do research on biodiversity in most developing countries any more, thanks to Nagoya. Unless you're American: the US hasn't signed Nagoya, and can still do research as always.

This new suggestion would be that DNA sequences, which historically have been published to GenBank and freely available to all, cannot be published at all. Except if you're American, then you can still use GenBank as usual. Or if you're a pharmaceutical company, because their lobbyists got them excempt.

The Nagoya protocol is an extremely bad and damaging agreement, which does nothing but stop noncommercial research -- which now seems to be the point. Species and biodiversity hinder exploitation.
Rodney Kelling
not rated yet Oct 29, 2018
It is almost 4 years now since i have been living without herpes 1 / 2 and completely cured from the virus with no traces of it in me. i do not know what else to say than thank God and thanks to Dr. Osojo too ( email; DR.OSOJOHERBALCUREOFALLDISEASE@GMAIL.COM ). i now realize there is nothing the power of Supernatural God and the traditional herbal medicines of Dr. Osojo can not do. You don't know the great joy i have of been totally cured from the virus that gave me 8 long years of terrible times, i used several other drugs which did little or nothing and i had to suffer from it few weeks later when the symptoms come back again, but since 2014 when i called a herbal Dr. Osojo on ( +2348100663964 ) and got medicines from him which cured me just weeks after using it, i have closely watched all this years to see if the virus will come back again and it hasn't. the doctors here have confirmed no trace of herpes virus in me and i am grateful to God for that day i met Dr. Osojo.
not rated yet Oct 31, 2018
I want to share a quick testimony about how Dr Ekaka helped me cure my diabetes and HIV Virus. It was all like a dream until i had the test confirmation from GP. Thanks to Dr Ekaka, your herbal medication is so amazing..

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.