Resilience against infectious disease: a One Health approach  

A special issue of Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Guest editors: David Heymann, MD; Jonathan Jay, JD MA; Richard Kock, MA VMB VMD MRCVS

Call for papers:

Recent crises, including the Ebola and Zika virus epidemics, have highlighted the need for a systems approach to responding more effectively to infectious disease emergence. Human health  systems cannot wait to detect the first human cases: the pathogens are evolving and emerging in a multitude of ways and due to various drivers, often appearing first in animal populations, with environmental changes introducing or amplifying risk. Prevention, therefore, requires attention to resilience in ecosystems, and when this breaks down, intervening earlier to mitigate the impact of environmental disruptions and detect warning signs of disease among animals before they emerge in people.

This special issue of Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene explores how a One Health approach—addressing infectious disease through collaboration across the biomedical, veterinary and environmental health disciplines—can reduce our vulnerability. As a contribution to the emerging literature on resilience and public health, it considers how One Health capacities at the local, national and global level can (a) constitute an actionable prevention and  “early warning system” for infectious disease threats and (b) reduce new threats by monitoring and improving the health of ecosystems.

Authors will present:

  • novel empirical and theoretical work on (a) how ecological shifts and disruptions modify infectious disease risk and/or (b) the role of animals, as vectors and hosts, in human infectious disease outbreaks;

  • research and commentary on the costs and benefits of various policies to integrate human, veterinary and environmental health within systems to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases.

Types of articles will include: research article (up to 3500 words, with a 200 word structured abstract and 30-40 references), review paper (3500 words, 200 word unstructured abstract and up to 60 references) or commentary (a shorter opinion style piece, 1000 words, 100 word abstract and up to 10 references).

This issue particularly invites research relevant to low- and middle-income country settings and seeks regional diversity in the projects represented. For articles focused on policy solutions, interdisciplinary collaborations (representing at least two of the three major One Health disciplines) are particularly encouraged; the guest editors will help facilitate these collaborations, as necessary.  

The deadline for submissions will be 1 March 2017. Interested authors should please submit a pre-submission inquiry to and with a brief description of their proposal (e.g. a draft abstract). Pre-submission inquiries received by 1 February will receive priority consideration.

Provided to the One Health Initiative website January 21, 2017 by:

Jonathan Jay, JD, MA

Doctoral (DrPH) candidate

Harvard Chan School of Public Health

(617) 519-1581


Note: Dr. Heymann is a member of the One Health Initiative Autonomous pro bono Advisory Board