Managing the Risks From New and Emerging Infectious Disease: the ‘One Health’ Paradigm

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research’s Animal Health Laboratory and Deakin University, Australia


The global risk from new and emerging infectious diseases continues to grow with recognition that, for the most part, the pathogens involved emerge from animals to infect humans. Recognizing the complexity of these interactions and the need for a strong interdisciplinary approach to effectively manage these risks, new partnerships are being forged under the general umbrella of “One Health.” Involving human health, animal health, and environmental health exponents, solutions are sought for how to prevent as well as respond to the threats. But is this approach working? Whilst a number of key meetings continue to be held under the One Health umbrella, are we really seeing measurable progress in risk prevention and mitigation? Focusing research on the drivers for emergence, on modeling the risks, on improved diagnostics, and on targeted vaccines could considerably enhance our ability to prevent and respond. Ensuring the uptake and applications of new diagnostics and vaccines will be the key to prevention and response, but achieving this will require policies that drive further the One Health collaborations. Such policies should ensure that scant available resources are targeted toward the identified outcomes through research delivery and uptake, and that we genuinely work as “one world” in tackling the very real risks we face.