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  • "One Health Initiative"

    A One-Health Concept for Animal Disease News Desk, May 7, 2008

    US - Antimicrobial resistance, avian influenza, and climate change are among the topics that illustrate interconnections among human, animal, and environmental health.

    These topics and other interdisciplinary health matters were the subject of many sessions during the sixth International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, March 16-19 in Atlanta. The one-health concept was a theme throughout ICEID 2008.

    Dr. Roger K. Mahr, advocate of the one-health concept and AVMA immediate past president, described the philosophy of "One World, One Health, One Medicine" at a session early in the meeting. Thomas P. Monath, MD, a member of the AVMA One Health Initiative Task Force, spoke on behalf of the American Medical Association."

    The one-health focus was shown by the focus of the talks and posters, the integration of the sessions themselves," said Dr. Carina G. Blackmore, Florida state public health veterinarian and another member of the one-health task force who attended ICEID 2008.

    Dr. Blackmore said some of the discussion concerned antimicrobial resistance in human and animal pathogens. Antimicrobial-resistance plasmids also are present in microbial flora in the environment, she said.

    Dr. Christine Hoang, an assistant director in the AVMA Scientific Activities Division who attended the meeting's sessions on zoonoses, said further discussion concerned transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus among species—including humans, companion animals, and production animals. Speakers talked about MRSA in pets and a different strain of MRSA that scientists identified recently in swine in the Netherlands and Canada.

    Dr. Albert Osterhaus, a virologist at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, spoke about relationships between human and animal viral pathogens. Various viruses in animals offer opportunities for emergence of new zoonoses, he said. Such diseases affect public health, animal health, food supply, economics, and biodiversity. Dr. Osterhaus emphasized the need for interdisciplinary collaboration to understand zoonoses.

    A number of sessions during ICEID 2008 tackled the subject of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza, Dr. Hoang said.

    Nancy Cox, PhD, director of the Influenza Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said a human pandemic arising from H5N1 avian influenza may be unpredictable and unpreventable. Rapid detection and response efforts will be key if or when the virus mutates to transmit easily among humans.

    Dr. Les Sims of Asia Pacific Veterinary Information Services in Australia said eradication of H5N1 avian influenza won't occur in the foreseeable future. The medium-term strategy of vaccination comes with challenges such as finding funding, measuring efficacy, and monitoring antigenic variation.

    One of the meeting's messages, Dr. Blackmore said, was the need for ecologic research to understand the impact of environmental health on animal and human health. Plants take up human pathogens into their tissues, for example, and wild birds spread avian influenza.

    Howard Frumkin, MD, director of the CDC National Center for Environmental Health, spoke about the impact of climate change on public health. Areas of potential concern include food security, water supplies, air pollution, and vectorborne disease.

    Summarizing ICEID 2008, Dr. Hoang said, "The one-health concept continued to be a focus at most, if not all, of the lectures I attended. The level of understanding of its necessity is growing, and the concept really seems to be catching on."

  • #2
    Re: "One Health Initiative"

    One Health Initiative gets Nod from ASM, Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    WASHINGTON, DC — The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has endorsed the One Health Initiative, which recognizes the inter-relationships among human, animal, and environmental health, and tries to understand how they can protect livestock and consumers from zoonotic diseases whilst reaffirming food safety and environmental protection.

    The One Health concept seeks to enhance communication, cooperation, and collaboration in integrating these areas for the health and well-being of all species.

    “The goals of the One Health Initiative are consistent with the ASM mission of applying and communicating knowledge of microbiology for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide,” said ASM past president Dr. Stanley Maloy, who chairs ASM’s Communications Committee.

    Development of the One Health Initiative began in 2007 with the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) efforts to strengthen communication and collaboration with colleagues in human medicine. The AVMA convened a Task Force on this issue which is scheduled to release its report in June 2008. The Initiative has also been endorsed by the American Medical Association; other human health, veterinary, and environmental professional societies; and more than 300 individual scientists, including current and past leaders of the ASM.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Julie Gerberding has said, “I am sure I speak for all of CDC in voicing my complete enthusiasm and support for the One Health Initiative.” The CDC has established a new National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Disease (ZVED) that is fostering a multidisciplinary approach to understanding infectious disease ecology and zoonotic diseases.

    “Microbiology is a major interface among the disciplines of human, animal, and environmental health,” said Maloy, who is Dean of Sciences at San Diego State University. “The ASM can add a strong research-based component to further the goals of the Initiative by partnering with the veterinary and medical practitioner communities. Communication about the One Health concept can help advance the field of microbiology in an era of increased emphasis on interdisciplinary and translational research.”

    According to the resolution adopted by the Society, “the ASM aims to:
    • support educational efforts that holistically join animal, human, and environmental health issues;
    • encourage joint efforts in the diagnosis and treatment of animal and human diseases, including the responsible use of antimicrobials;
    • support cross-species disease surveillance that can aid in the early recognition of emerging infectious diseases;
    • support joint efforts in the development and evaluation of new diagnostic methods, medicines, and vaccines for the prevention and control of infectious diseases that cross species boundaries;
    • encourage interdisciplinary and translational research on zoonotic infectious diseases;
    • foster a dialogue about appropriate funding mechanisms for research on animal, human, and environmental health.”

    Relevant One Health issues of special concern to the ASM include:
    • emerging infectious diseases of humans, animals, and plants, including those occurring naturally or as potential bioweapons;
    • development and transmission of antimicrobial resistance;
    • impact of global climate change on infectious disease in all species;
    • the transmission of diseases among pets and farm animals and humans;
    • the cross-species infectivity of human, animal, and plant pathogens;
    • and the environmental pools of human and animal toxin genes and pathogens.


    • #3
      Re: "One Health Initiative"

      I'm not sure if this is the best place to post this, and it may be dated, but it's an excellent review of the strategic issues in combatting zoonotic diseases:

      Combating the threat of zoonotic infections

      Most new human pathogens reported in the past 25 years, such as influenza and SARS, have zoonotic origins. The risk of zoonotic infection, that is any infection transmissible between vertebrate animals and humans, is predicted to continue to increase. The European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) today publishes a policy report giving evidence-based recommendations on how to combat the threat of zoonotic infections for man and animals.


      • #4
        Re: "One Health Initiative"

        One Health Initiative will unite human and veterinary medicine

        The One Health Initiative is a movement to forge co-equal, all inclusive collaborations between physicians, osteopaths, veterinarians, dentists, nurses and other scientific-health and environmentally related disciplines, including the American Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. National Environmental Health Association (NEHA). Additionally, more than 600 prominent scientists, physicians and veterinarians worldwide have endorsed the initiative.

        "May the long time sun
        Shine upon you,
        All love surround you,
        And the pure light within you
        Guide your way on."

        "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."

        “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
        Mohandas Gandhi

        Be the light that is within.