MRIGlobal infectious disease testing

Featured News

What is Disease X?: How to Prepare for an Unknown Infectious Disease

Global Health Surveillance

Disease X is based on the idea that there is a pathogen somewhere out in the world that could lead to an outbreak of a deadly disease. It would bring the worst possible outcomes and affect all ages equally. If we aren’t prepared, it could potentially shut down society as we know it. 

So how do we prepare?

The key to preparing for an unknown disease is through high-resolution diagnostics. More than anything, countries would need advanced testing and assay capabilities to rapidly diagnose and respond before a disease can spread. Therefore, the ultimate focus is on proactive measures rather than reactive chaos. 

MRIGlobal is a world-leading, not-for-profit contract research organization that focuses on innovative infectious disease diagnostics. Read on to learn more about high-resolution diagnostics and how those solutions can help the world prepare for Disease X. 

Why do we need to prepare for an unknown disease?

Simply because a disease is unknown, doesn’t mean it is any less of a threat. In fact, that makes it more of a threat because we don’t know where it will begin, how it will begin, or the effects it will have on society. Disease X isn’t a hypothetical that may or may not happen. One day in the future, the “perfect” disease will emerge.

For the past decades, we’ve been quite lucky in that a lot of outbreaks come from pathogens we already know. In those cases, we may not have a vaccine, but we typically will have some type of testing measure and research under our belts. Those are more ideal situations, though the measures in place still remain mostly reactive while infectious threats are dynamic and exponentially increasing.

However, if a novel pathogen emerges (one we have never encountered before), that becomes a problem without diagnostic measures in line, especially at-home diagnostic testing. Even now, there are significant gaps in our ability to detect and respond to known threats, with nearly no capacity to deal with novel threats like Disease X. We’ve currently seen the results of that from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Because of this, there is a growing and dire need for better technologies and methods to increase our diagnostic and detection capabilities before Disease X comes. As a result, MRIGlobal has been a leader in creating high-resolution diagnostics, such as our Mercury Lab, for rapid detection, and ultimately, rapid solutions—all before a pathogen spreads beyond its starting point. 

Introducing a New Lab that Transforms Mobility into Portability →

Learn more about high-resolution diagnostics with MRIGlobal

MRIGlobal is a not-for-profit contract research organization based in Kansas City that specializes in defense, human health, pharmaceutical sciences, in-vitro diagnostics, energy and transportation, agriculture, and global health. Our solution-driven teams are dedicated to finding answers that will make the country and world safer for all. 

For more than 75 years, MRIGlobal has advanced scientific research across a variety of industries, and we focus on supporting better health outcomes on a global scale. For us, it’s not simply about science; it’s about the people who make it all happen. 

Our solution-driven approach drives us to find answers , even in the most complex situations. Through our dedication, we can solve virtually any technical problem. 

To learn more about our innovative high resolution diagnostics, contact us at

If you’re part of an agency, business, or academic institution seeking help with a project, use our Project Quote Tool to get started today. 

Project Quote Tool