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Dr. Dunham Supports AVMA/AMA “One Health” Initiative - Monday, August 16, 2010

U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Bernadette Dunham, DVM, PhD Supports AVMA/AMA “One Health” Initiative

FDA Veterinarian Newsletter 2007 Volume XXII, No IV - Dr. Dunham Supports AVMA/AMA “One Health” Initiative

-         Last Updated Version below: 10/28/2009

Dr. Bernadette Dunham, [Current] Director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (USA), is a strong proponent of the initiative called “One Health,” aimed at developing more collaboration and communication between human and veterinary medicine. 

The concept behind the One Health initiative is not new (it was first articulated in the 19th Century), but it gained increased attention as the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates voted in June to approve a resolution to support it, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in July at its annual convention named members to a One Health Initiative Task Force. AVMA had endorsed the concept earlier.

Dr. Roger Mahr, Immediate Past President of the AVMA, made the One Health initiative his top priority during his presidency (2006-2007). It was his recommendation to establish the task force.

According to an AVMA press release, the task force was given the job of “articulating a vision of One Health that will enhance the integration of animal, human, and environmental health for the mutual benefit of all.”

The One Health initiative addresses the significance of zoonotic diseases. The most obvious zoonotic diseases are variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, West Nile virus, avian influenza, rabies, and salmonellosis. But many other diseases can move between humans and animals. Approximately 60 percent of all infectious agents of humans are zoonotic, according to experts. In addition, 75 percent of emerging human diseases seen in the past 25 years have been zoonotic, AVMA’s Dr. Mahr stated during the group’s annual conference in July.

The leading advocates of the initiative are Dr. Laura H. Kahn, a physician on the research staff of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; Dr. Bruce Kaplan, a veterinarian in Sarasota, FL, and previously with the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and] U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service; and Dr. Thomas P. Monath, a physician previously with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Fort Collins, CO) and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (Fort Detrick, MD), and currently with the investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Menlo Park, CA.

They have drafted this One Health mission statement:

“Recognizing that human and animal health are inextricably linked, One Health seeks to promote, improve, and defend the health and well-being of all species by enhancing cooperation and collaboration between physicians and veterinarians, and by promoting strengths in leadership and management to achieve these goals.”

The initiative seeks increased educational opportunities between human and veterinary medical schools, more communications, and more cross-species disease surveillance, as well as other coordination.

Dr. Kaplan is collecting statements of support for the One Health initiative. Dr. Dunham, who has had veterinary clinical experience as well as human and veterinary research experience, sent him this statement of support:

“Sir William Osler, M.D. (1849-1919) promoted the philosophy of ‘one medicine.’ How exciting to witness, in 2007, the official adoption of the ‘One Health’ initiative by both the AMA and the AVMA!! Through mutual collaborations—clinical and research experiences—veterinarians and physicians can accomplish so much more together to advance the health of humans and animals. Today, we truly live in a global village where people, animals, and microbes all travel. So, it is even more imperative that we all embrace the One Health initiative. I look forward to joining my colleagues in a multidisciplinary approach as we address the global health needs of humans, animals, and their environment.”

Others who have sent testimonials supporting the One Health Initiative include Major General Gale S. Pollock, Acting, Surgeon General, U.S. Army; and former U.S. Senator Bill Frist, MD.  Dr. Kaplan is continuing to collect testimonials. [please see]

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Note: Jack Woodall, PhD, a renowned viral epidemiologist, became the contents manager/editor of the ProMED-mail section in the Kahn-Kaplan-Monath-Woodall One Health Initiative website in February 2009.  Dr. Woodall is visiting Professor and Director (retd.) Nucleus for the Investigation of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Institute of Medical Biochemistry, Center for Health Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  He is a co-founder and associate editor of ProMED-mail, the outbreak early warning system online of the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.

“One Health” Session Scheduled for the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), in Orlando, Florida (USA) Monday, January 17, 2011 - Friday, August 13, 2010

A good reason to attend the …

“One Health” Session Scheduled for the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), in Orlando, Florida (USA) Monday, January 17,  2011

One of the outstanding featured speakers, a noted wildlife veterinarian will be:


Paul P. Calle, VMD, Dipl ACZM
Director, Zoological Health

Global Health Program

Wildlife Conservation Society

2300 Southern Blvd.

Bronx, NY 10460-1099


Dr. Calle’s speech will explore ““One World One Health®  – A Field Veterinary Perspective”.


Dr. Calle cogently and briefly describes his One Health message as “The inextricable link between people, domestic and wild animals, and their diseases, has never been more obvious or of concern than it is today. With outbreaks of SARS, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, and Ebola virus capturing the public’s attention, the concept that we only have One World and share One Health is on the front pages of newspapers around the world. The need to increase the linkages between public health, the health of domestic animals, and the health and conservation of wild animals has generated discussions and collaborations unheard of only a few years ago. This talk will present an overview of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s pioneering One World One Health® activities around the world, which include international symposia and workshops on the topic held in New York City and Bangkok, Thailand in 2004; Beijing, China in 2005; and Brasilia, Brazil in 2007 as well as ongoing global field veterinary activities to investigate diseases and their relationships to people, domestic and wild animals.”


In coming months, the One Health Initiative website will feature other topics to be discussed by individual speakers in the NAVC scheduled One Health session. 


Private practicing veterinarians, physicians and other health scientists in the U.S., Canada and worldwide are urged to consider attending. 





Eco-epidemiology and control of Chagas disease in northern Argentina - Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eco-epidemiology and control of Chagas disease in northern Argentina


A long-term One Health collaborative effort of the University of Buenos Aires (led by Ricardo Gürtler, PhD), Rockefeller and Columbia University (Joel E. Cohen, PhD) and Emory University (Uriel Kitron, PhD, MPH) on the ecology, epidemiology and suppression of Chagas disease in the Argentinean Chaco.


A strength of the project is that it addresses all facets of transmission and risk, including the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (which causes Chagas disease), the insect vectors, the wildlife and domestic reservoir hosts, humans and the physical and biological environments. Among the major findings of the projects is the high degree of heterogeneity in all of these components of the transmission systems. Infestations are highly aggregated, with only a few premises harboring high-density bug colonies. Some peridomestic structures with particular physical attributes maintain residual bug colonies that can recover to pre-intervention numbers and propagate through the community by flight dispersal.


Among our main findings are the inter-connectedness between domestic, peridomestic and Sylva tic populations of the main vector Triatoma infestans (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), the importance of super-spreader dogs and high-risk sites, the occurrence of unanticipated sylvatic foci of Triatoma infestans, and the economically optimal role for community action in sustainable Chagas disease intervention programs.


A key finding of the study is the importance of dogs to the transmission of T. cruzi and to the surveillance of Chagas disease. Dogs are the key reservoir for T. cruzi and the major source of infection for Triatoma infestans, the main vector of Chagas disease in the Chaco, with a force of infection that is 14 times higher than that of humans. Dogs, whose average lifespan in the rural Chaco is only 3.5 years, also fulfill all the criteria for an optimal sentinel for Chagas disease. Trypanosoma cruzi infection is aggregated at the household level along the “80-20 rule”, with a small fraction of the seropositive dog, and to a lesser extent cat and human populations, showing high capacity to infect bugs. Field and experimental evidence shows that dogs are the preferred domestic bloodmeal source of T. infestans.


At the district-wide level, high domestic infestation was clustered in high human-density areas with higher land surface temperature and more degraded landscapes. Anthropogenic changes in the environment, including deforestation, introduction of cash crops and changes in land ownership patterns have had major impacts on wildlife, including suspected reservoir hosts such as opossums and skunks.


In addition to over forty scientific papers that resulted from the project, there is a strong training component for undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs and veterinarians, and the project is based on and committed to community participation and sustainable improvement in public health.


Links to free access key papers (all accessible through PubMed):


Ceballos 2009 -

Gurtler, PNAS -

Vazquez-Prokopec, PLOS NTD -

Gurtler, Parasitology -

Cecere, EID -

Cardinal 2009


Uriel Kitron, PhD, MPH

Department of Environmental Studies

400 Dowman Drive

Math and Science Center, Suite E511

Emory University

Atlanta, GA  30322

Tel: (404) 727-4253; fax: (404) 727-4448;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


Ricardo Gürtler, PhD

CONICET Scientific Investigator

Professor and Head

Laboratory of Eco-Epidemiology

Faculty of Natural and Exact Sciences

University of Buenos Aires



Dr. Kitron graciously provided this article to the One Health Initiative website. This was requested following the previous July 28, 2010 OHI website Publications page (scroll down) posting of a news item on NEWKERALA.COM.  Prepared by Drs. Kitron and Gürtler, it is expected to be re-printed in the One Health Newsletter’s Fall issue

Cancer clue found in animal diseases - Friday, August 06, 2010


Science News


Cancer clue found in animal diseases

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 26 (UPI) -- Canadian researchers say an unexpected connection between an animal disease and human cancers could lead to effective cancer therapies. … Read more:

One Health or… some health? - Tuesday, August 03, 2010



One Health or… some health?


"When the eagles are silent, parrots begin to jabber." - Winston Churchill


 Bruce Kaplan, DVM


The international One Health movement has expanded during the early 21st century.  It even sports the name “One Health” in most circles instead of “One Medicine”, the phrase promoted by the late Dr. Calvin Schwabe, the renowned public health veterinarian and parasitologist.  Actually, the two are essentially synonymous unless you want to split hairs.  One Health has been adopted by most to primarily designate a wider collaborative interdisciplinary inclusion.


I met and spent part of a morning and lunch with Dr. Schwabe at the home of his close friends, the family of the late noted public health figure,  Oscar Sussman, DVM, MPH, LL.B in Princeton, New Jersey (USA) in the early 1960s.  Schwabe was a brilliant, gentle, unpretentious person.  He called the concept “One Medicine” and was himself more oriented towards the public health (epidemiological) applicability.  Nonetheless, I am confident that if asked today, he would say something like, “whatever you call it, it needs to be implemented across the board in public health and clinical medicine for the benefit of human [and animal] health.”


While implementation still remains sometime in the future, the One Health movement has become and is becoming widely accepted worldwide, particularly in public health communities.  Regrettably, although One Health principles apply exceptionally well to protecting nations’ public health, it also applies equally well to clinical medical and surgical research (comparative medicine) and hence in private practice, i.e. in the fields of cancer, cardiovascular disease, orthopedic conditions, obesity, and many others.  By perusing the One Health Initiative website and the online quarterly One Health Newsletter, one can find numerous examples of One Health advances for both disciplines, viz. public health and clinical health care.


Much more One Health activity is evident in public health academic communities than among clinical health academic circles.  It is practically non-existent and for the most part unheard of within the practicing veterinary medical and human medical communities.  Specifically, practicing veterinarians and physicians in private practices generally do not know about One Health and those that hear of it ask the legitimate question, “So, what is in it for us?”


If One Health activists continue to only stress public health to the exclusion of clinical medical/surgical research and neglect indoctrinating our practitioner colleagues into “What’s in it for all of us”… we will travel the path of “some health” and not ONE HEALTH.  Protecting and saving untold millions of lives requires recognition and implementation of, by and for both disciplines.



Dr. Bruce Kaplan is a member of the One Health Initiative website team along with Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP, Thomas P. Monath, MD, and Jack Woodall, PhD.  He also serves on the editorial board of the One Health Newsletter and has been a co-author contributor to One Health articles with One Health Newsletter editor Mary Echols, DVM, MPH.  Dr. Echols was the first to appreciate and express the practical, bottom line phrase “so, what’s in it for us” relative to when many initially consider supporting the One Health concept.



Comments about this Opinion piece are welcomed.   Opinions and comments about One Health are encouraged.  Selected appropriate messages will be posted upon receipt of permission from author(s).  Please send to c/o Contents Manager.


One Health Article Appears in International Innovation Magazine - Saturday, July 31, 2010


One Health Article Appears in International Innovation Magazine: Research Media Ltd.


The One Health concept was elucidated in a Question and Answer piece that was recently widely distributed online and in a hard copy format through International Innovation magazine, published June 2010.


Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP, a prominent member of this One Health Initiative team and a recognized leader in the international One Health movement gave a significant and thoughtful One Health interview


Please see the link below…


Note: The entire magazine may also be viewed via the following links


International Innovation Magazine Information:


You may register on the Research Media website to gain full access to the entire publication, this is free and quick with your registration being approved within 24 hours.


“International Innovation is the leading global dissemination resource for the wider scientific, technology and research communities. Produced under four titles, each title serves a key scientific area that is of particular relevance in today’s global environment.”

Click the link below to complete the online form to subscribe to the printed magazine.
Research Media Subscription Form or


UN agriculture agency adopts new strategy to combat animal disease outbreaks - Thursday, July 29, 2010

UN News Center


UN agriculture agency adopts new strategy to combat animal disease outbreaks

26 July 2010 – Strengthening measures to prevent and control outbreaks of animal diseases could result in the saving of large amounts of money for governments, the United Nations agriculture agency said today, announcing a new strategy to more effectively detect and combat the diseases.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said it had drawn on its experience in past animal health emergencies to develop the “One Health” initiative, which aims to improve global response to disease outbreaks, implement effective prevention and containment strategies and manage risks. … Read more:

Experts say H5N1 picture not greatly improved since 2003 - Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy
Academic Health Center -- University of Minnesota

Experts say H5N1 picture not greatly improved since 2003

Jul 23, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – The global H5N1 avian influenza situation has not improved very much since the virus began spreading widely in 2003, and many human cases have probably gone unreported, French health experts conclude in an assessment published yesterday in Eurosurveillance.

While the deadly virus still has not gained the ability to spread easily from person to person, "The overall worldwide situation of influenza A(H5N1) . . . is not markedly improved since 2003," says the report by researchers from the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance (Institut de Veille Sanitaire) in Saint-Maurice, a French government agency.

"This fact, and regular reintroduction of the virus by wild birds in countries where foci have been controlled (such as Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey or Vietnam) underscore the importance of maintaining adequate surveillance and response capacities for infections in both animals and humans," the authors add.

They also write that the World Health Organization's (WHO's) human H5N1 case count "probably vastly underrepresents the true case burden worldwide." The count reached 501 cases, including 297 deaths, yesterday.

In Indonesia, they say, the case-fatality rate (CFR) for H5N1 is 88%, and nearly all the cases identified since January 2009 have been on the island of Java, which suggests that access to diagnosis is uneven and that severe cases are overrepresented in the official count.

The CFR is lower in Egypt, probably reflecting better access to timely diagnosis and care, the report adds, "but suspected human cases occurring in remote locations may not all be officially detected and/or reported and would have contributed to a higher CFR."

Reviewing the H5N1 situation in birds, the authors note that 63 countries and territories in Asia, Africa, and Europe have had outbreaks in poultry and/or wild birds since the end of 2003. Twelve countries have had poultry outbreaks so far this year: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Romania, and Vietnam.

"Many other countries, notably in sub-Saharan Africa, have suspected transmission in predominantly backyard flocks but lack surveillance systems to document it," the article says.

Discussing the patterns of human cases, the report observes that the numbers have generally trended downward over the past 6 years and that most cases have occurred in the months from November to April, though Indonesia has cases throughout the year. In recent years the number of cases has fallen in Asia and grown in the Near East, mainly Egypt. The latter accounted for 66 of 149 cases (44%) from Jan 1, 2008, to Jul 1, 2010.

At least 40 clusters of human cases, accounting for more than 100 illnesses in all, have occurred since 2003, the researchers report. Common exposure to sick poultry was the source of infection in the vast majority of these, but investigators concluded that limited human-to-human transmission occurred in some of the clusters, most of which were in families.

Genetic susceptibility probably has played some role in the clusters, as suggested by the three-generation cluster in Indonesia in 2006 and by clusters in Turkey, the report says. It adds that no instances of transmission in healthcare settings have been confirmed since 2003.

In conclusion, the experts say that some countries that were hit hard by H5N1 before 2007, such as Thailand and Turkey, seem to have controlled the problem and reduced risks to humans. But the virus continues to circulate in poultry elsewhere, especially Egypt, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.

While Egypt and Indonesia face a complex situation, "communication in these countries is transparent and constructive and allows for quick reporting of cases, especially if suspected clusters should arise," the article says. It notes that Indonesia authorities last December resumed the practice of reporting cases to the WHO. In June 2008 the Indonesian health minister had said the government would no longer report cases as they occurred and instead would give only periodic updates.

The virus still has the potential to spark a human pandemic, the researchers state. Unlike in 2003 and 2004, poultry outbreaks and human cases now are occurring in some of the most densely populated areas in the world, which may increase the risk of transmission from birds to humans and make it harder to contain the virus if it starts spreading among humans, the experts assert.

Tarantola A, Barboza P, Gauthier V, et al. The influenza A(H5N1) epidemic at six and a half years: 500 notified human cases and more to come. Eurosurveillance 2010 Jul 22;15(29) [Full text]

The One Health Initiative Website Welcomes …Worldwide One Health Submissions for Posting - Monday, July 26, 2010


OPEN NOTICE (Contact Us):

 The One Health Initiative Website Welcomes …

 Worldwide One Health Submissions for Posting on:

·                         One Health News page

·                         Publications page

·                         Upcoming Events page

Comments and suggestions also appreciated...

 Please send to c/o Contents Manager


Bottom line of One Health Implementation:  Untold millions of lives will be protected and/or saved in our generation and those to come!

One Health: The Intersection of Humans, Animals and the Environment - Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) Journal Volume 51, Number 3 - Friday, July 23, 2010

One Health: The Intersection of Humans, Animals and the Environment


Please see the current issue of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) Journal Volume 51, Number 3.


The One Health Initiative website team considers this to be a significant and important contribution to One Health literature.  In toto, it provides more concrete evidence sustaining the premise recognized by many international health scientists that One Health implementation is essential for this generation and for those to come. One Health implementation will help protect and/or save untold millions of lives in our generation and for those to come.


Introduction: One Health Perspective (first article) may be viewed by the gracious permission of the ILAR Journal, National Research Council of the National Academies, Washington, D.C. 20001 via issue Managing Editor, Cameron H. Fletcher.  


Please see PDF on the Publications page of this website at (scroll down).


Issue Editor: James G. Fox, DVM, MS, DACLAM

                   Director of the Division of Comparative Medicine and

                   Professor in the Division of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

                   Cambridge, MA 02139


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