Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses are Fueled by the Climate Change

December 22, 2023 – the SAJO Christmas post

Started in February 2020, the SAJO blog is providing information about pandemics, pathogens, infectious diseases and further important topics.

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Dear readers,

With the SAJO blog we are sharing our thoughts on topics that are on our minds. As scientists of course, we are interested in current infectious diseases, but we are also dealing with a much larger issue more often now: the climate crisis, mankind is facing for years already, and which will keep us busy for decades to come.

But first a few words about current infectious diseases.

The coronavirus is showing its flexibility, it keeps on changing. A recently published article ( showed that single variants had with time achieved a selection advantage under pressure by the vaccinations. They are spreading while other variants are disappearing. This highlights the efficacy of the vaccines: They have an impact on the virus. This, however, has the consequence that in the coming years, new, adjusted vaccines will become necessary to avoid any further big outbreak. The necessary means are at hand. What’s missing is the political will, and acceptance by the people. Governments should provide incentives to get annual shots. This would lessen the burden of severe disease cases. The economic damage by increasing absence from work is big. This may be avoided. In Asia, involvement of people is simply better. During the cold season, N95 masks are omnipresent. Two tiny interventions – vaccination and face masks – would make a difference in Europe. However, here, the global catastrophe during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is long forgotten. Those who were hit hardest are dead, they have no voice anymore.

The effect of vaccines on the prevalence of subtypes, was shown recently in another globally spreading pathogen: The human papilloma virus (HPV).

HPV is one cause of cervix carcinoma. The discovery of this connection earned Harald zur Hausen the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Vaccination protects from two serotypes (HPV 16 and 18) that are causing aggressive cancers. The protective nature of this vaccine was proven quite early: Genital warts (harbingers of a cancer many years later) caused by HPV, showed a strong decline in routine examinations after only a few years.

The current study could show that under pressure from vaccines, the subtypes 16 and 18 were crowded out by other subtypes. The latter are now occupying a niche provided by the lack of subtypes 16 and 18. These other subtypes do not cause cancer as aggressively, but this shift is showing the risk of future cancer-causing subtypes, not covered by the vaccine. With a consequent, widespread vaccine campaign, it is possible to eradicate the subtypes 16 and 18. For other variants, however, adjusted vaccines become necessary.

Vaccines exist since 2006. Unfortunately, in Germany they were only recommended for girls, although it is known that boys are transmitting the virus. Only since 2018 (!) vaccination was recommended for boys as well. Too much time was wasted.

The topic of vaccines in Germany still is handled in a very medieval way.

These were two small examples of how fast viruses may change and adapt. But multicellular organisms (such as human beings) are changing as well with time, most prominently under selection pressure. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has shown that people are reacting very differently upon an infection. Disease ranges from symptom-free infection to a mortal course. Everything in-between is possible. This year, a gene variant was discovered that provides its carriers protection from COVID-19: The HLA variant HLA-B*15:01.

In a world without knowledge in biology and medicine, this would indeed provide a strong selective advantage for carriers of such a gene variant. Luckily, we do have other options, instead of hoping for a genetic selection advantage: We can don N95 masks and get a vaccination. This is providing a much better chance of protection than the genetic lottery game.

A look into history shows us that the biggest killers of mankind are coming from the empire of microorganisms. Infectious diseases have killed far more people than many other disasters. Global warming will deliver us more pandemics. Both, the climate crisis, and infectious diseases may only be dealt with successfully with the help of science.

Therefore, we do not understand that the German school system is treating sciences so stepmotherly. This begins with mathematics, where many students have not even basic knowledge. How shall these people deal with data to infectious diseases and climate change in the future, if they do not even master basic arithmetic? But this is only one of the problems: German public television has an “educational duty”, which it fails to deliver. In contrast, the scant number of programs dealing with science, are either trimmed or canceled altogether. What for? For another unbearable quiz show, a boring murder mystery, or another talk show with the same people repeating the same dribble all over again. With this science-averted attitude, Germany is not alone. The EU is cutting billions of Euros for research programs, in the US, the Bible’s Genesis is taught as an alternative of Evolution, and in India, Ayurveda is a central part of the curriculum.

These are becoming more and more obvious. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is publishing an annual report highlighting the situation in the Arctic:

Unfortunately, politics, society, and the media are incapable to do so.  Everybody seems to be surprised that the OPEC wanted to keep up oil production in their negotiations at COP28. Why would this be a surprise? Oil is their only product! An exit from fossil fuels must be driven by all those countries that do not depend on oil export. What is so difficult to understand? Every country can do this on its own. Nobody can force the EU to import oil, gas, or coal. The technical prerequisites are there to produce energy with sun, wind, and water. This won’t happen over night but a look at the numbers shows it is feasible: Percentage of renewable energy for power production has risen from less than 10 % to about 50 % within 20 years. This may be further increased, as well as for heating and traffic. The only aspect missing, is the political will to do so.

Only once it is (too) late, there is action. At the moment, the so-called tipping points are a popular discussion topic. Many believe that as long as a tipping point is not reached, everything is fine. This is a wrong assumption. A tipping point is the point from which on there is a positive feedback loop: A simple example would be the ice sheets of the polar caps as well as the high mountain glaciers. Once they start melting away, their cooling effect also disappears; this means it will again get warmer, which will remove even more ice. A self-reinforcing mechanism.

And once a tipping point is reached, its effect on global warming will lead to a domino effect of all the other tipping points. Thus, action is needed long before a tipping point is reached.

This is yet another situation where politics, media, and societies are failing.

More and more red flags are appearing. The Amazon is drying up. This effect also is self-reinforcing: Once there is less water, there is less ability to cool the area through evaporation. This is resulting in even more loss of water, and so on. Where does all this water from the world’s biggest river system end up? Warm air has more capacity for water vapor, so the water will rain down in cooler regions. In unbelievable amounts. We expect massive floodings. How many of such catastrophes does it take for mankind to realize the danger? In the past, many big and mighty civilizations simply vanished, because they could not cope with a changing environment. We recommend Jared Diamond’s book “Collapse” for more on this topic.

Should you still need an attractive Christmas present, this would be our suggestion as a good winter read.

This year, we decided to make a winter break to spend time working on topics all around SAJO. Real interests never leave you alone; you keep thinking about them all the time. This is the matter for all company founders.

To wrap this up, we wish to thank all the committees and their members for awarding SAJO this year. You saw and acknowledged all the work, our innovations, and our commitment. Thank you very much again!­

Only days ago, SAJO was honored with the “Global Award 2023/2024” as “R&D Services Provider of the Year“. The publication is upcoming. Thank you for this award!

Over the holidays, we will have traditional German food. On December 25th, Christmas Day, we shall have a goose. Instructions for a classic preparation with side dishes we had published last year:

May all these monstrous and unnecessary wars stop, since nobody will have any advantage from them. In modern times, peaceful coexistence should be feasible for civilized people. Our thoughts are with all those who are suffering from such conflicts. Do not lose hope.

Yours, Sabine and Joerg

Dr. Sabine Breun and Dr. Joerg Baumann, both Ph.D.s, virologists, immunologists, molecular biologists and founders of SAJO. Both are specialized in infectious diseases. Since the 90s, Dr. Baumann has been working on zoonoses and how pathogens overcome the species barrier. Since 2000, Dr. Breun works on the interaction of viruses with the immune system. Both work as team. SAJO enables new antivirals – antivirals of the next generation to fight pandemics.
During their scientific carreers, both performed scientific work for 5 years at the National Cancer Institute in a US elite program on competitive US scholarships.

SAJO – for a healthy and better future!

SAJO is consulting all around infectious diseases. We are applying our know-how, that we have acquired in more than 20 years. We do what we can to fight this pandemic.

This is post No. 262. To our delight our blog is reaching a lot of readers, we love to share our know-how and expertise. Please feel free to share the link – it is an informative tool to fight this pandemic and upcoming threats.

(Note: We are no members of political parties, religious congregations, or societies. We value independence, sovereignty, and freedom. With our blog we are providing purely scientific advice, without conflict of interest, altruistic. We are not being paid for it.)

The SAJO high technology (the heart of SAJO) allows for the identification and isolation of next generation antiviral and antibacterial components for the development of new drugs, for prevention or therapy. This is what we do best – these are our USP and our strength.

#1 We want to treat, cure and prevent infectious diseases with new therapeutic drugs. Calls for investments and financing are open. If you aim at the same goal, then please get into contact with us.

#2 Should you like to have SAJO antivirals or antibacterials, or to give a contract, or need consultation, or to invest into SAJO, please do not hesitate to contact us. You may use the form on our homepage or phone number +49 176 2198 1495 or email We are looking forward to talking to you.

The SAJO business model:

Visit Sabine at XING and Jörg at LinkedIn

AWARDS to SAJO in 2023:

Only days ago, SAJO was honored with the “Global Award 2023/2024” as “R&D Services Provider of the Year“. The publication is upcoming. We wish to thank you for this award, as well as for the Global Health & Pharma Award 2023 awarded as “Best R&D Specialists for Antiviral and Antibacterial Molecules 2023“.