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An Opinion - “We are in it together”… physicians and veterinarians serving human and animal health worldwide - Tuesday, March 22, 2011


An Opinion – One Health


“We are in it together”… physicians and veterinarians serving human and animal health worldwide


By Bruce Kaplan, DVM*



     Known as the father of modern medicine and the father of Internal medicine, the great Canadian physician Sir William Osler, was a 19th and early 20th century practitioner of modern day “One Medicine-One Health” collaborative principles.  One example: while teaching at the Montreal Veterinary College, Dr. Osler organized a significant study of parasites in the pork supply of Montreal with one of his most brilliant veterinary students, Albert W. Clement.  The two concluded, correctly, that thorough cooking of pork was the best protection against humans contracting parasitic illnesses when ingesting this meat.  Dr. Clement, a veterinarian, later became a President of the United States Veterinary Medical Association now the American Veterinary Medical Association or AVMA. (1, 2, 3)



Schwabe coined “One Medicine” term and Crystallized the concept in the 20th century


     A re-examination of historically valid references helps to verify that the American veterinarian, Calvin W. Schwabe, DVM, MPH, ScD originally coined the term “One Medicine” and represented it to designate the concept associated therewith (4, 5).  Among other reference sources, Dr. Schwabe demonstrated how statements and actions taken by the great 19th century German physician Rudolf Virchow, MD, the father of cellular pathology, bolstered the case for Schwabe’s original “One Medicine concept” proposition (5).  Dr. Virchow said, “between animal and human medicine there are no dividing lines--nor should there be.



A literature review of Dr. Osler’s writings (6, 7) plus two prominent biographies (2, 3) revealed no personal usage of the term “One Medicine”, but his alliance with veterinary medicine and veterinarians is historically unquestioned, at least during his early teaching and medical career in the 19th century.  According to all available documented references, Dr. Osler would have supported Dr. Schwabe’s proposal having been strongly influenced by his teacher and pathology mentor Dr. Virchow (who most certainly would have concurred). 


Today, “One Medicine” is commonly referred to as “One Health” worldwide.  This terminology change occurred during the first decade of the 21st century.



Today’s 21st century “One Health” version (formerly called “One Medicine”)


     Drs. Virchow, Osler, and Schwabe probably would have greatly appreciated today’s 21st century American Medical Association (AMA) physician/internist President Cecil B. Wilson, MD, and his visionary Oslerian observations and conclusions.  Virchow, Osler, and Schwabe were obviously endowed with the gifts of critical and creative thinking.  The One Health concept is a product of their accepted wisdom.


Dr. Wilson, a strong One Health supporter and advocate, commented in his January 28, 2011 AMA One Health blog, “We are in it together”.


He went on to sayPhysicians and veterinarians—as healers—have a lot in common, whether our patients walk on two legs or four.  And our patients share a lot of diseases in common, whether they talk, bark, moo, oink, purr…or whinny.  I was reminded of this when I participated on a panel last week in Orlando (January 17, 2011) with another physician and two veterinarians at the North American Veterinary Conference.  We were talking about opportunities for interdisciplinary action in association with the One Health Initiative,” which the AMA supports. …

Here’s why it is important for this interaction:

• Sixty percent of the nearly 1,500 infectious diseases now recognized in humans are caused by pathogens that have an animal vector [reservoir].
• Three of every four newly emerging human infectious diseases originate in animals (zoonotic).
• Many zoonotic diseases pose increasing threats to the human race (Ebola, Lassa fever and the Nipah, Hendra and Marburg viruses).
• Pollution and environmental contamination affect human and animal health.
• Many drugs and most medical devices are tested and refined in animals before use in humans.
• Humans, animals and the environment also intersect at farms, slaughterhouses and processors.
• Monitoring animal health has led to the discovery that environmental contaminants, such as lead or mercury, can be unhealthy for humans.

We are in it (this world) together, whether man or animal. And sharing information and science through collaboration between the medical and veterinary medical professions benefits us all.

     The movement to promote and eventually implement this One Health concept for expeditiously protecting and saving lives has expanded exponentially in the U.S. and internationally.  While it is not a new idea—having been around and actively championed by visionary historic health leaders in the 19th, 20th and especially the first decade of this 21st century—the majority of practicing physicians, veterinarians and the general public are still unaware of this health care tool.  A tool that, when utilized in the past, expedited many documented health advances.  Examples occurred and are happening in public health (infectious diseases) and high profile clinical human and animal health conditions like cancer, heart disease, orthopedics and others:


·                           The Ebola virus, a horrible hemorrhagic fever disease transmitted to humans by an animal source, and mentioned by Dr. Wilson was discovered and named jointly by eminent virologists, a physician, Dr. Karl Johnson and a veterinarian, Dr. Fred Murphy at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1976.


·                           The coronary artery stent commonly used in people having heart attacks was invented in the 1990s by an Australian trained veterinarian/physician, Dr. Gary Roubin, now a prominent practicing physician interventional cardiologist in New York, a veterinarian pathologist (who performed the pathology on pigs that was sent to FDA in order to get the stent approved for human use), Dr. Peter Anderson currently at the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine and others.  Dr. Anderson holds the patent for the idea of having a Taxol (paclitaxel) drug coating on the stent to help prevent restenosis.


·                         Orthopedic surgeons at the University of Missouri, veterinarian, Dr. James Cook and physician, Dr. Sonny Bal, for these past 8 years of the 21st century, have worked collaboratively with comparative medical research on efforts to create hip and knee replacements without using commonplace biomechanical metal and plastic materials.  The technique being developed by Dr. Cook for dogs initially, involves use of laboratory grown tissue (cartilage) that can be molded into replicas of joints that require replacement.  Drs. Bal and Cook are concomitantly developing a process whereby a similar process can be adapted for humans (think osteoarthritis therapy for dogs and humans).  Dr. Cook is director of the Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory at the MU School of Veterinary Medicine. 


     This is merely the tip of the potential One Health iceberg, past and present!  People need only read the history of this concept and realize that implementation on a grand scale would likely help curtail research duplications and expenditures while fast forwarding discoveries in a sea change for all of us who are “in it together”.



*Dr. Bruce Kaplan is a retired veterinarian who lives in Sarasota, FL (USA).  He helps operate the One Health Initiative website as contents manager in association with Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP, Thomas P. Monath, MD, and Jack Woodall, PhD and is Contributing Editor for the Florida Department of Health, Division of Environmental Health’s quarterly online One Health Newsletter .  Dr.Kaplan has practiced small animal veterinary medicine for over 23 years and held positions in public health with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an epidemiologist and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service Office of Public Health and Science in Washington, DC.





1.       Kahn LH, Kaplan B, Steele JH. Confronting zoonoses through closer collaboration between medicine and veterinary medicine (as ‘One Medicine’) Veterinaria Italiana 2007; 43: 5-19. ; and the One Health Initiative Autonomous pro bono team.


2.       Bliss, Michael. William Osler, A Life in Medicine. Oxford University Press, 1999.


3.       “The Life of Sir William Osler” by Harvey Cushing, 1925 Ed.  (Courtesy Chris Lyons, MA, Dip. Ed, MLIS, Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University)


4.       Schwabe, C. Veterinary medicine and human health, 3rd ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins: 1984.


5.        U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), EID Journal, “One Medicine” for Animal and Human Health, Volume 10, Number 12–December 2004.


6.       Personal Communication: Chris Lyons, MA, Dip. Ed, MLIS, Associate Librarian, Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University (March 17, 2011).


7.       The Evolution of Modern Medicine A series of Lectures delivered at Yale in April, 1913 by William Osler: “immediately turned into the Yale University Press for publication.”


One Health Opinions and Comments are welcomed by the One Health Initiative website.  Please submit to for consideration.

Raccoon Roundworms in Pet Kinkajous --- Three States, 1999 and 2010 - U.S. CDC Report - March 18, 2011 - Friday, March 18, 2011

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)


Raccoon Roundworms in Pet Kinkajous --- Three States, 1999 and 2010

March 18, 2011 / 60(10);302-305

Baylisascaris procyonis (BP) is the common roundworm of raccoons (Procyon lotor). Adult BP live in the small intestine of this host, where they produce eggs that are passed in the feces. BP eggs ingested by nondefinitive host species hatch in the intestine, producing larvae that can migrate widely, causing visceral, ocular, or neural larva migrans (1). Cases of neural larva migrans in humans caused by BP likely acquired from raccoons have resulted in severe encephalitis with permanent deficits and in death (1--3). Although raccoons are the most common definitive host of BP in North America, some other carnivores, including domestic dogs, can serve as definitive hosts, making them a potential source of human disease (1). Less well-documented is infection in procyonids other than raccoons (e.g., kinkajous [Potos flavus] [Figure 1], coatis [Nasua spp.], olingos [Bassaricyon spp.], and ringtails [Bassariscus astutus]) and the potential for transmission from these species to humans. This report describes cases of BP infection in pet kinkajous that placed humans at risk for infection. Avoiding contact with feces from potentially infected animals and routine deworming of pets, including dogs and exotic species that might host this parasite, will prevent infection with BP.

Read more:

U. S. City Mayor Strongly Endorses One Health Concept and Principles - March 10, 2011 - Sunday, March 13, 2011

U. S. City Mayor Strongly Endorses One Health Concept and Principles


The Mayor of Moscow, Idaho (USA), Nancy Chaney recently [March 10, 2011] sent the following One Health endorsement statement to the One Health Initiative Autonomous pro bono team.  The city of Moscow, located in north central Idaho along the Washington/Idaho border, is home to the University of Idaho, the primary research University for the State. Mayor Chaney’s comment could serve as a model for other political leaders in the U.S. and worldwide.


“The One Health Initiative is a platform for multi-disciplinary collaboration to solve today’s complex problems and ward-off future ones. Fragmented and narrowly-focused interests cannot adequately address relationships among human activities, global climate change, food production, potable water, disease distribution, endangered ecosystems, and humans’ powerful will to enjoy the best lives possible. As a nurse and policy maker, trained in environmental science and married to a veterinarian, I am encouraged and excited by the possibilities envisioned by motivated partners in the fields of human and veterinary medicine, environmental science, and complementary interests. Please join me in supporting the One Health Initiative!”


Nancy Chaney, Mayor, City of Moscow Idaho, RN, MS (Environmental Science)


2nd Infection, Ecology and Epidemiology Network (IEE) Scientific meeting - March 15-16, 2011 – Sigtuna, Sweden - Friday, March 11, 2011

2nd Infection, Ecology and Epidemiology Network (IEE) Scientific meeting

March 15-16, 2011 – Sigtuna, Sweden

Registration is now closed (fully booked)

Preliminary program

Workshop I-IV


John Woodall: The One Health Initiative and ProMed-mail

Liana Steeghs: Immuno Valley

Björn Olsen: How much is the loss of a tiger worth?

Erik Forsberg: UppsalaBIO

Lovisa Svensson: Infection Ecology and Epidemiology Network

Anne Tuiskunen: Dengue fever among swedish tourists from 1995 to 2010

Christian Ehrenborg: TBA

Staffan Svärd: Science for Life Laboratory

One Health Research for Animals and Humans – University of Missouri-Columbia’s Comparative Orthopedic Laboratory (USA) - Wednesday, March 09, 2011

One Health Research for Animals and Humans – University of Missouri-Columbia’s Comparative Orthopedic Laboratory (USA)


Foundation for Biomedical Research

818 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20006


Foundation for Biomedical Research’s (FBR) newest TV spot, “Emma’s Story," is now airing on national networks including Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. The 60-second spot features a young Labrador Retriever named Emma that received groundbreaking surgery to cure her of lameness by veterinarian, Dr. James L. Cook, the director of University of Missouri-Columbia’s Comparative Orthopedic Laboratory who performed Emma’s surgery and says today she is as good as new.  “Emma’s Story” shows viewers how animal research helps animals and humans too.  Watch “Emma’s Story” now on:



Emerging Threats to One Health: Implications to U.S. National Security - University of Missouri (USA) - April 12, 2011 - Monday, March 07, 2011

An Important Meeting to Consider and Attend …


 Emerging Threats to One Health: Implications to U.S. National Security

 University of Missouri (USA) – Reynolds Alumni Center… April 12, 2011  


“Health Security has historically been marginalized in it's criticality to U.S. National Security. Real world events such as SARS, Avian Influenza, Mad Cow Disease, and West Nile Virus, to name a few, have underscored the economic, social, political, and health impacts of Health Security on a global scale. The National Academies of Science (NAS) study "Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, emphasizes the need for a pipeline of young Americans in STEM fields, and reinforces the deeper underlying challenges necessary for the educational system to develop broad-based accredited  programs that support globalization. Health Security is one of the core challenges that societies must address in order to emerge and flourish.”


Annette Sobel, MD, MS

Assistant to the Provost for Strategic Opportunities

Adjunct Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Family Medicine Adjunct Professor

Adjunct Professor, Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute

Guest Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory

University of Missouri-Columbia (USA)

“Infection, Ecology and Epidemiology (IEE Network)” 2nd meeting will be in Sigtuna, Sweden, 15-16 March, 2011 - Friday, March 04, 2011



“Infection, Ecology and Epidemiology (IEE Network)” 2nd meeting will be in Sigtuna, Sweden, 15-16 March, 2011

Key note lecturer:  Dr. John (Jack) Woodall is a viral epidemiologist, member of the One Health team and currently the contents manager of the One Health Initiative website’s ProMED-mail page.  Read more about dr Woodall here! You will find pictures from the first IEE meeting 16-17 March, 2010, here

Björn Olsen, MD, Professor, Senior Physician Infectious Diseases Uppsala University and University Hospital (Sweden) leads the IEE Network and is a significant One Health supporter.  Dr. Olsen also serves on the One Health Initiative website’s Honorary Advisory Board



The One Health Initiative [Keynote Abstract]


John P. Woodall, PhD [Contents Manager, One Health Initiative website ProMed Outbreaks Reports]


Co-founder & Associate Editor, ProMED-mail, International Society for Infectious Diseases, Boston, Mass. USA


                Abstract:  The roots of the One Health movement go back hundreds of years, but One Health has taken on momentum recently with the recognition that most newly emerging diseases are zoonoses, introduced to humans by the accelerating destruction of habitat, which brings more people into contact with wildlife and their diseases. 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 their students.


The One Health Initiative (OHI), which was founded in 2006 by Bruce Kaplan, a veterinarian, and Laura Kahn, a physician, aims to be an internet-based clearinghouse for news and discussion about the One Health movement worldwide, and to encourage the development of interchange between physicians, veterinarians and those concerned with environmental health.  Physician Tom Monath and viral epidemiologist John (Jack) Woodall have since joined the team. It has a pro bono autonomous website <>, which in February 2011 had over 8,000 unique visits from 114 countries.


Institutions that have given their support include the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), Global Alliance for Rabies Control, Immuno Valley Consortium, Netherlands, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium, Italian Society of Preventive Medicine, New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine, SAPUVETNET III, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Veterinarians without Borders, Canada and Zoonotic and Emerging Diseases, UK.


The OHI Advisory Board includes Björn Olsen, MD of Uppsala University Hospital. More than 500 prominent scientists, physicians and veterinarians worldwide have endorsed the initiative.

Penn State University (USA) website for the Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science Links to One Health Initiative Website - Monday, February 28, 2011

Penn State University (USA) website for the Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science Links to One Health Initiative Website


The One Health Initiative website has been notified that the Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania (USA) website for the Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science is providing a reciprocal link to this website.


Click on to access the homepage for the 2011 Frontiers of Science series, then click on the "Learning Resources" link in the left navigation bar, and then scroll down to the section titles "Learning Resources pertaining to Vivek Kapur's Lecture, where you will find the link titled "The One Health Initiative."


Courtesy of:


Barbara K. Kennedy
Director of the Penn State Eberly College of Science Office of Media Relations and Public Information,
Editor of Science Journal, Advisor of the Penn State Ballroom Dance Club
520 Thomas Building, University Park PA  16802-2112

Yale School of Medicine: Yale Human Animal Health Project – A Center for “One Health” studies (USA) - Thursday, February 24, 2011


Yale School of Medicine: Yale Human Animal Health Project – A Center for “One Health” studies (USA)


The Yale Human Animal Medicine Project, at the Yale School of Medicine, is advancing on a number of fronts under the direction of program director Peter Rabinowitz, MD, MPH.  According to Dr. Rabinowitz these include zoonoses in general, the occupational health of animal workers, and animals as sentinels. “There is also a necessity of finding and defining the clinically important intersections between human and animal medicine”, he said.  Drs. Rabinowitz and Lisa Conti [DVM, MPH] co-edited and co-authored the landmark One Health book “Human-Animal Medicine: Clinical Approaches to Zoonoses, Toxicants and Other Shared Health Risks”. 


Please

A One Health in ACTION example from the 20th century - Published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS), 1983;65:137 - Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A One Health in ACTION example from the 20th century:


The short life’s history of John L. Marshall, DVM, MD (1936 – 1980) demonstrates the tremendous potential of combining human and veterinary medical knowledge.  Dr. Marshall was a prominent orthopedic surgeon (first as a veterinarian and then as a physician) who appreciated the comparative biomedical research disciplines of veterinary medicine and human medicine.


Published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS), 1983;65:137


Permission to post on One Health Initiative website was graciously granted February 20, 2011 by:


Beth Ann Rocheleau

Intellectual Property Manager

Rockwater, Inc.

Note: Permission is not transferable.  License to use this material from this site by any commercial organization will require securing formal permission.  Inquiries from third parties requesting permission to use the material are directed to JBJS


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