Highly Successful One Health Sessions Reported from United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) 114th Annual Meeting

The American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians  (AAVLD 53rd Annual Conference) in conjunction with the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) Annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) held their first ever One Health Sessions on Saturday November 13th, 2010 and Monday November 15th , 2010.  By all accounts the One Health talks given at the two sessions were highly successful.  One meeting attendant was quoted as saying, "this was the best [program] we have had in 30 years!".

AAVLD President-elect and One Health sessions organizer, Craig Carter, DVM, PhD (right) shown with Saturday’s Keynote speaker Peter R. Rabinowitz, MD, MPH (left)

 Keynote— Human-Animal Medicine Title: How Do Laboratories Fit Into the Picture?

By Dr. Peter Rabinowitz [Yale Medical School] 

Abstract: "In many of its current forms, the concept of “One Health” is long on visionary scope and maddeningly short on tangible specifics and short term action steps for implementation. Yet there is a substantial, although often anecdotal, amount of evidence suggesting that the clinical laboratories could play a key and increasingly important role in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases overlapping human and animal medicine in a manner that could be considered One Health.  This talk will review such evidence, through presentation of cases that involve animals as sentinels for human environmental health hazards, humans as sentinels for animal disease risk, and cases that highlight how little we still know about zoonotic pathogen transmission and its impact on the global burden of illness in both humans and animals." …

Dr. Carter (right) with Monday’s Keynote speaker Lisa A. Conti, DVM, MPH (left)

 Keynote—One Medicine: Its All Herd Health

 By Dr. Lisa Conti [Florida Department of Health, Environmental Health Division Director]

 Abstract: "The exciting concept of One Health, while not new, encourages systems thinking and implementation at addressing challenges to disease and injury prevention and control.  By using the intersection of human, veterinary and environmental health, practitioners in these fields can manage a wide range of clinical and public health problems. 

 For most of us, a companion animal makes up part of our family structure and most people consume food of animal origin.  Biologic, chemical and radiation hazards in our environment that impact these animals, also impact us.  Our ability to attend to and mitigate these threats increase our community sustainability and our general health. 

 The task of identifying and controlling emerging pathogens and conditions benefits from an open communication and collaboration among human medical, veterinary medical and environmental health practitioners.  The nation’s response to the Gulf oil spill necessarily requires the input of multiple professions working together to address the impacts from occupational exposure, to wildlife and habitat threats, to harvesting food from these waters.  Zoonotic influenza is an infectious disease that exemplifies the need for working across divides.  Environmental changes including how we build our environments have considerable impact on human, animal and environmental health." …

Dr. Carter (right) next to Gary Simpson, MD, PhD, MPH (left)

 Abstract: Emerging Infectious Diseases:  The Case for Integrating Science, Medicine and Public Health

 By Dr. Gary Simpson [Paul L. Foster School of Medicine - Texas Tech University Health Science Center]

 "Emerging infectious diseases in the 21st Century have become increasingly complex and unpredictable.  Since 85% of emerging infectious diseases in recent decades are zoonotic in origin, the importance of understanding the dynamic interactions of the ecosystems of wildlife, domestic/agricultural animals, and humans has been demonstrated convincingly.  Extensive experience with these infectious disease threats has taught that addressing them responsibly requires the collaborative and coordinated efforts of inter-disciplinary, multi-organizational working groups.  The example of the initial outbreak of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome will used to illustrate these concepts. The sustained collaborations that resulted from this event will be described. "