One Health

This programme is targeted at exploring the multiple linkages between biodiversity, diseases, and human health, and examines risk factors for disease emergence at the wildlife-domestic animal-human interfaces. The programme also aims to examine the links between emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (ERID) and ecosystem integrity to build a new agenda for the emerging vision of One Health.
Climate Change – Challenges And Solutions, Experts Explain
Mridula Mary Paul / NDTV
Biodiversity and Health: One Health and Zoonoses in Vulnerable Communities in India
Biodiversity Collaborative / Biodiversity Collaborative
ABSTRACT The COVID-19 pandemic has sharply brought into focus how intrusions into natural landscapes are not just environmental concerns, but are also intricately entangled with public health. Little attention has been paid to systemic…
COVID-19: Who do you blame a pandemic on?
Every crisis needs a good scapegoat. In the case of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, we seem to have found multiple ones. We linked this pandemic to various causes — from bats and Chinese culinary adventurism, to natural…
ABSTRACT Scientists all over the world are moving toward building database systems based on the One Health concept to prevent and manage outbreaks of zoonotic diseases. An appreciation of the process of discovery with incomplete information and a recognition of the role of observations gathered painstakingly by scientists in the field shows that simple databases will not be sufficient to build causal models of the complex relationships between human health and ecosystems. Rather, it is important also to build knowledge bases which complement databases using non-monotonic logic based artificial intelligence techniques, so that causal models can be improved as new, and sometimes contradictory, information is found from field studies. Full article

About One Health

The on-going rapid economic transformations in India have resulted in massive changes in land use and agriculture patterns. Under these changing land use scenarios, the abundance and distribution of different animal reservoirs have been perturbed. The combination of shifts in animal distributions and the increased incidence of direct contact with humans and reservoir hosts, the likelihood of (re)emergence of infection is increasing. Our current understanding of the mechanisms for disease emergence under land use change can be classified into two main working hypotheses: the “perturbation hypothesis”, whereby land use change disrupts the cross-species transmission rates by perturbing disease dynamics in multi-host systems, and the “pathogen pool hypothesis” whereby exposure of novel hosts to a rich pool of pathogen diversity influences the cross-species transmission rate. These are not exclusive processes, and may be confounded when considering the mechanisms of disease emergence in dynamic landscapes. Testing these hypotheses is severely impaired by our lack of knowledge of the diversity and ecology of pathogens present in wildlife in a region, and their impact on different hosts.

In India, very few systematic studies of pathogen-host relationship, epidemiology or even basic ecology of many of the species have been carried out. To address this gap, this programme will set up sentinel surveillance systems across the country for timely detection and prevention of spread of diseases, helping avoid disease outbreaks on a larger scale.

This will benefit both the general public as well as the domestic and wild animal populations. Avoiding loss in livestock also reduces economic loss. Identifying zoonotic and ERID hotspots will further ensure enforcement of wildlife- management strategies to avoid infectious disease outbreaks, helping conserve wildlife populations. The establishment of surveillance sites will allow rapid response capacity to be built to improve disease detection, diagnosis and treatment in local communities that are at an occupational risk of contracting zoonotic diseases. Early and mid-career scientists from research institutes across the country will benefit from the opportunity to apply for One Health Research fellowships to conduct cutting edge research at any of the surveillance sites. Technical training programs will benefit public health practitioners, medical and veterinary practitioners, researchers from the biological sciences and ground level staff. This programme proposes to go beyond passive monitoring of outbreaks in humans and domestic animals, to active surveillance across the human-domestic animal-wildlife interfaces. The real path-breaking aspects of this project pertain to the fine-scaled occurrence, movement and contact data that will be collected for multiple species of domestic and wild animals and their associated pathogens. This programme will enable India to be identified as a global leader in the realm of zoonotic disease research, monitoring, control, management and development of relevant technology.