U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – About One Health One Health: It’s for All of Us The health of people, animals, and the environment is intertwined. A health hazard for people may likely be a health hazard for animals. For example, smoking is not only harmful to people; it’s harmful to pets too. Medical advances in understanding and treating a disease in one species, such as heart disease in people, may be applied to other species. And a change in the environment can affect all living things, from people to animals to plants. The One Health Initiative recognizes this inter-connectedness and advocates a comprehensive approach to health and environmental problems versus a piecemeal approach. By building bridges between physicians, veterinarians, environmental scientists, and public health professionals, the One Health Initiative aims to “promote, improve, and defend the health and well-being of all species.”1     “No one discipline or sector of society has enough knowledge and resources to prevent emergence or resurgence of diseases in todays globalized world. Through mutual collaborations, veterinarians and physicians can accomplish so much more together to advance the health of humans and animals,” said Dr. Bernadette Dunham, former director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and currently a visiting professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Zoonotic Diseases and Comparative Medicine The link between human and animal health can be seen with bovine tuberculosis (TB) and brucellosis. Both are zoonotic diseases, meaning they can spread from animals to people. Bovine TB, caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium bovis, is most commonly found in cattle and other animals such as bison, elk, and deer. Brucellosis is another bacterial disease seen in livestock such as cattle, goats, and sheep, wild animals such as bison and elk, and other animals. People can become infected with both M. bovis and brucellosis by consuming contaminated, unpasteurized (raw) milk or dairy products and through direct contact with infected live animals or carcasses. In the U.S., it was once common for cattle to spread bovine TB and brucellosis to people. But efforts to eliminate both diseases in cattle and routine pasteurization of cow’s milk have led to a dramatic decline in the number of human cases. At the beginning of the 20th century, about 20 percent of TB cases in people were caused by M. bovis.2 Today, that number is less than 2 percent in the U.S.3 From 1930 to 1941, about 29,600 cases of brucellosis in people were reported in the U.S.4 But from 1993 to 2010, fewer than 2,000 human cases were reported in the U.S.5 Initially, One Health efforts concentrated on preventing the spread of diseases from farm animals and wild animals to people. But more recently, One Health has begun to incorporate companion animals into its framework. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association established a One Health committee to not only focus on diseases that can spread from dogs, cats, and other pets to people but also on comparative medicine and the human-animal bond.6 The field of comparative medicine focuses on the similarities and differences between veterinary medicine and human medicine. ... Read Complete text at: