The Infectious Disease Ontology in the Age of COVID-19

Journal of Biomedical Semantics 12 (13) (2021)
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The Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) is a suite of interoperable ontology modules that aims to provide coverage of all aspects of the infectious disease domain, including biomedical research, clinical care, and public health. IDO Core is designed to be a disease and pathogen neutral ontology, covering just those types of entities and relations that are relevant to infectious diseases generally. IDO Core is then extended by a collection of ontology modules focusing on specific diseases and pathogens. In this paper we present applications of IDO Core within various areas of infectious disease research, together with an overview of all IDO extension ontologies and the methodology on the basis of which they are built. We also survey recent developments involving IDO, including the creation of IDO Virus; the Coronaviruses Infectious Disease Ontology (CIDO); and an extension of CIDO focused on COVID-19 (IDO-CovID-19).We also discuss how these ontologies might assist in information-driven efforts to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to accelerate data discovery in the early stages of future pandemics, and to promote reproducibility of infectious disease research.

Author Profiles

John Beverley
University at Buffalo
Barry Smith
University at Buffalo


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