Virology under the Microscope-a Call for Rational Discourse.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Viruses have brought humanity many challenges: respiratory infection, cancer, neurological impairment and immunosuppression to name a few. Virology research over the last 60+ years has responded to reduce this disease burden with vaccines and antivirals. Despite this long history, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented attention to the field of virology. Some of this attention is focused on concern about the safe conduct of research with human pathogens. A small but vocal group of individuals has seized upon these concerns - conflating legitimate questions about safely conducting virus-related research with uncertainties over the origins of SARS-CoV-2. The result has fueled public confusion and, in many instances, ill-informed condemnation of virology. With this article, we seek to promote a return to rational discourse. We explain the use of gain-of-function approaches in science, discuss the possible origins of SARS-CoV-2 and outline current regulatory structures that provide oversight for virological research in the United States. By offering our expertise, we - a broad group of working virologists - seek to aid policy makers in navigating these controversial issues. Balanced, evidence-based discourse is essential to addressing public concern while maintaining and expanding much-needed research in virology.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Goodrum, F; Lowen, AC; Lakdawala, S; Alwine, J; Casadevall, A; Imperiale, MJ; Atwood, W; Avgousti, D; Baines, J; Banfield, B; Banks, L; Bhaduri-McIntosh, S; Bhattacharya, D; Blanco-Melo, D; Bloom, D; Boon, A; Boulant, S; Brandt, C; Broadbent, A; Brooke, C; Cameron, C; Campos, S; Caposio, P; Chan, G; Cliffe, A; Coffin, J; Collins, K; Damania, B; Daugherty, M; Debbink, K; DeCaprio, J; Dermody, T; Dikeakos, J; DiMaio, D; Dinglasan, R; Duprex, WP; Dutch, R; Elde, N; Emerman, M; Enquist, L; Fane, B; Fernandez-Sesma, A; Flenniken, M; Frappier, L; Frieman, M; Frueh, K; Gack, M; Gaglia, M; Gallagher, T; Galloway, D; García-Sastre, A; Geballe, A; Glaunsinger, B; Goff, S; Greninger, A; Hancock, M; Harris, E; Heaton, N; Heise, M; Heldwein, E; Hogue, B; Horner, S; Hutchinson, E; Hyser, J; Jackson, W; Kalejta, R; Kamil, J; Karst, S; Kirchhoff, F; Knipe, D; Kowalik, T; Lagunoff, M; Laimins, L; Langlois, R; Lauring, A; Lee, B; Leib, D; Liu, S-L; Longnecker, R; Lopez, C; Luftig, M; Lund, J; Manicassamy, B; McFadden, G; McIntosh, M; Mehle, A; Miller, WA; Mohr, I; Moody, C; Moorman, N; Moscona, A; Mounce, B; Munger, J; Münger, K; Murphy, E; Naghavi, M; Nelson, J; Neufeldt, C; Nikolich, J; O'Connor, C; Ono, A; Orenstein, W; Ornelles, D; Ou, J-H; Parker, J; Parrish, C; Pekosz, A; Pellett, P; Pfeiffer, J; Plemper, R; Polyak, S; Purdy, J; Pyeon, D; Quinones-Mateu, M; Renne, R; Rice, C; Schoggins, J; Roller, R; Russell, C; Sandri-Goldin, R; Sapp, M; Schang, L; Schmid, S; Schultz-Cherry, S; Semler, B; Shenk, T; Silvestri, G; Simon, V; Smith, G; Smith, J; Spindler, K; Stanifer, M; Subbarao, K; Sundquist, W; Suthar, M; Sutton, T; Tai, A; Tarakanova, V; tenOever, B; Tibbetts, S; Tompkins, S; Toth, Z; van Doorslaer, K; Vignuzzi, M; Wallace, N; Walsh, D; Weekes, M; Weinberg, J; Weitzman, M; Weller, S; Whelan, S; White, E; Williams, B; Wobus, C; Wong, S; Yurochko, A

Published Date

  • April 20, 2023

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 2

Start / End Page

  • e0003423 -

PubMed ID

  • 36700653

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC10117089

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2379-5042

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1128/msphere.00034-23


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States