Challenges to ‘One Health’: Anti-Microbial Resistance, Zoonotic diseases and why we should all care
12/10/2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Watch a recording of the event here👇
Antimicrobials are medicines such as antibiotics, antivirals and antiparasitics that prevent and treat infections in humans, animals and plants. Overuse of these medicines has led to growing resistance to their efficacy, making it harder for diseases and infections to be treated or controlled. Antimicrobials used to treat humans are often used to treat animals and included in animal feed. This leads to Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the rapid development and spread of “superbugs.” Inadequate sanitation and poor treatment of residential, industrial and farm waste pollute the environment and on top of this we now see the emergence and spread of diseases known as Zoonoses.
Zoonoses are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Some Zoonoses like such as rabies and brucellosis, have been around for a long time, but our changing interactions with the environment and animals means that new ones, like Rift Valley Fever, are occurring all the time. While some zoonotic diseases are preventable through vaccines, and behavioural changes such as handwashing and improved animal husbandry, but dealing with them is complicated because of growing levels of Antimicrobial resistance. AMR impacts on our treatment zoonoses and all types of infectious diseases. It harms the economies and prospects of low and middle-income countries because it takes people out of the workforce and requires costly care. The situation is now so serious that the World Health Organisation has declared that AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity and has launched new guidelines urging farmers and food producers to cut back on using antimicrobials in food-producing animals. The dual threats of AMR and Zoonoses require an urgent and multi-faceted response, as exemplified by ‘One Health.’
Why ‘One Health?’
Many countries and global agencies have adopted a ‘One Health’ approach which brings doctors, veterinarians and others involved in the care of animals, people, plants and the environment to work together across multiple scientific disciplines. This makes sense, given the important and interdependent human, animal, and environmental dimensions of antimicrobial resistance. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought home the importance of an inter-disciplinary, multi-sectoral approach encompassing regulation, sanitation, improved infection control and farming methods. Developing alternatives to antimicrobials and eliminating their inappropriate use is essential.
In this webinar, we’ll look at public preparedness and strategies for adopting a One Health approach to AMR. Have we left it too late? What are the consequences of our failure to act? What can we do to ensure the world pays attention to ensuring we factor anti-microbial resistance into our ‘One Health’ work?
About the speakers:
Dr Linzy Elton is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Clinical Microbiology at UCL. She is part of the PANDORA-ID-NET consortia and focuses on One Health, laboratory capacity development, antimicrobial resistance, whole genome sequencing, tuberculosis and science communication. She is the PI for a multi-site study identifying the effects of COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures on hospital acquired infections (Twitter @AmrCovid). Whilst her background is in parasitology (focusing on helminths and specifically the prevalence and control of schistosomiasis), she completed her PhD on the role of biofilms in the transmission of Yersinia pestis (plague) in fleas and lice. She has worked on research projects in a number of countries, including Egypt, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. She tweets @LinzyElton.
Dr Osman A Dar
Osman A Dar is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh) and a fellow of the Faculty of Public Health at the Royal College of Physicians (London). At Chatham House, he is director of the Global Health Programme’s One Health project, an umbrella term referring to the programme’s work on zoonotic diseases, emerging infections, antimicrobial resistance, and food security.
In his role at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Osman is a medical consultant in global public health where he works to support capacity-building initiatives under the International Health Regulations and in the design and implementation of broader Health System Strengthening programmes.
Since May 2021, Osman has been a member and working group co-chair for the United Nations sponsored One Health High Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP) advising WHO, OIE, FAO and UNEP on their global One Health focused strategies and activities.
This event will be moderated by Professor Sian Clarke, Professor of Epidemiology and Global Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Her research interest is in infectious disease epidemiology, public health and development in low-income countries and the evaluation of disease control strategies to improve health in resource-constrained environments, with a specific focus on malaria. She is Co-Director of the LSHTM Malaria Centre – a multidisciplinary cross-faculty network of over 200 malaria researchers at LSHTM.
About this event:
This event is part of LIDC’s welcome to students embarking on the ‘One Health’ MSc degree jointly run by the Royal Veterinary College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Attendance at this event is free and open to all interested in learning more about this topic. Registration is essential: please register here.
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