Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

One Health Related Abstracts

4 Stakeholder-Driven Development of a One Health Platform to Prevent Non-Alimentary Zoonoses

Authors: A. F. G. Van Woezik, L. M. A. Braakman-Jansen, O. A. Kulyk, J. E. W. C. Van Gemert-Pijnen


Background: Zoonoses pose a serious threat to public health and economies worldwide, especially as antimicrobial resistance grows and newly emerging zoonoses can cause unpredictable outbreaks. In order to prevent and control emerging and re-emerging zoonoses, collaboration between veterinary, human health and public health domains is essential. In reality however, there is a lack of cooperation between these three disciplines and uncertainties exist about their tasks and responsibilities. The objective of this ongoing research project (ZonMw funded, 2014-2018) is to develop an online education and communication One Health platform, “eZoon”, for the general public and professionals working in veterinary, human health and public health domains to support the risk communication of non-alimentary zoonoses in the Netherlands. The main focus is on education and communication in times of outbreak as well as in daily non-outbreak situations. Methods: A participatory development approach was used in which stakeholders from veterinary, human health and public health domains participated. Key stakeholders were identified using business modeling techniques previously used for the design and implementation of antibiotic stewardship interventions and consisted of a literature scan, expert recommendations, and snowball sampling. We used a stakeholder salience approach to rank stakeholders according to their power, legitimacy, and urgency. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with stakeholders (N=20) from all three disciplines to identify current problems in risk communication and stakeholder values for the One Health platform. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded inductively by two researchers. Results: The following key values were identified (but were not limited to): (a) need for improved awareness of veterinary and human health of each other’s fields, (b) information exchange between veterinary and human health, in particularly at a regional level; (c) legal regulations need to match with daily practice; (d) professionals and general public need to be addressed separately using tailored language and information; (e) information needs to be of value to professionals (relevant, important, accurate, and have financial or other important consequences if ignored) in order to be picked up; and (f) need for accurate information from trustworthy, centrally organised sources to inform the general public. Conclusion: By applying a participatory development approach, we gained insights from multiple perspectives into the main problems of current risk communication strategies in the Netherlands and stakeholder values. Next, we will continue the iterative development of the One Health platform by presenting key values to stakeholders for validation and ranking, which will guide further development. We will develop a communication platform with a serious game in which professionals at the regional level will be trained in shared decision making in time-critical outbreak situations, a smart Question & Answer (Q&A) system for the general public tailored towards different user profiles, and social media to inform the general public adequately during outbreaks.

Keywords: eHealth, Zoonosis, risk communication, One Health, stakeholder

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3 A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial Investigating the Impact of Integrating Mass Drug Administration Treating Soil Transmitted Helminths with Mass Dog Rabies Vaccination in Remote Communities in Tanzania

Authors: Felix Lankester, Alicia Davis, Safari Kinung'hi, Catherine Bunga, Shayo Alkara, Imam Mzimbiri, Jonathan Yoder, Sarah Cleaveland, Guy H. Palmer


Achieving the London Declaration goal of a 90% reduction in neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2030 requires cost-effective strategies that attain high and comprehensive coverage. The first objective of this trial was to assess the impact on cost and coverage of employing a novel integrative One Health approach linking two NTD control programs: mass drug administration (MDA) for soil-transmitted helminths in humans (STH) and mass dog rabies vaccination (MDRV). The second objective was to compare the coverage achieved by the MDA, a community-wide deworming intervention, with that of the existing national primary school-based deworming program (NSDP), with particular focus on the proportion of primary school-age children reached and their school enrolment status. Our approach was unconventional because, in line with the One Health approach to disease control, it coupled the responsibilities and resources of the Ministries responsible for human and animal health into one program with the shared aim of preventing multiple NTDs. The trial was carried out in hard-to-reach pastoral communities comprising 24 villages of the Ngorongoro District, Tanzania, randomly allocated to either Arm A (MDA and MDRV), Arm B (MDA only) or Arm C (MDRV only). Objective one: The percentage of people in each target village that received treatment through MDA in Arms A and B was 63% and 65%, respectively (χ2 = 1, p = 0.32). The percentage of dogs vaccinated in Arm A and C was 70% and 81%, respectively (χ2 =9, p = 0.003). It took 33% less time for a single person and a dog to attend the integrated delivery than two separate events. Cost per dose (including delivery) was lower under the integrated strategy, with delivery of deworming and rabies vaccination reduced by $0.13 (54%) and $0.85 (19%) per dose, respectively. Despite a slight reduction in the proportion of village dogs vaccinated in the integrated event, both the integrated and non-integrated strategies achieved the target threshold of 70% required to eliminate rabies. Objective two: The percentages of primary school age children enrolled in school that was reached by this trial (73%) and the existing NSDP (80%) were not significantly different (F = 0.9, p = 0.36). However, of the primary school age children treated in this trial, 46% were not enrolled in school. Furthermore, 86% of the people treated would have been outside the reach of the NSDP because they were not primary school age or were primary school age children not enrolled in school. The comparable reach, the substantial reductions in cost per dose delivered and the decrease in participants’ time support this integrated One Health approach to control multiple NTDs. Further, the recorded level of non-enrolment at primary school suggests that, in remote areas, school-based delivery strategies could miss a large fraction of school-age children and that programs that focus delivery solely at the level of the primary school will miss a substantial proportion of both primary school age children as well as other individuals from the community. We have shown that these populations can be effectively reached through extramural programs.

Keywords: One Health, soil-transmitted helminths, Neglected Tropical Disease, canine mediated human rabies, integrated health interventions, mass drug administration

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2 Dengue Virus Infection Rate in Mosquitoes Collected in Thailand Related to Environmental Factors

Authors: Chanya Jetsukontorn


Dengue hemorrhagic fever is the most important Mosquito-borne disease and the major public health problem in Thailand. The most important vector is Aedes aegypti. Environmental factors such as temperature, relative humidity, and biting rate affect dengue virus infection. The most effective measure for prevention is controlling of vector mosquitoes. In addition, surveillance of field-caught mosquitoes is imperative for determining the natural vector and can provide an early warning sign at risk of transmission in an area. In this study, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were collected in Amphur Muang, Phetchabun Province, Thailand. The mosquitoes were collected in the rainy season and the dry season both indoor and outdoor. During mosquito’s collection, the data of environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and breeding sites were observed and recorded. After identified to species, mosquitoes were pooled according to genus/species, and sampling location. Pools consisted of a maximum of 10 Aedes mosquitoes. 70 pools of 675 Aedes aegypti were screened with RT-PCR for flaviviruses. To confirm individual infection for determining True infection rate, individual mosquitoes which gave positive results of flavivirus detection were tested for dengue virus by RT-PCR. The infection rate was 5.93% (4 positive individuals from 675 mosquitoes). The probability to detect dengue virus in mosquitoes at the neighbour’s houses was 1.25 times, especially where distances between neighboring houses and patient’s houses were less than 50 meters. The relative humidity in dengue-infected villages with dengue-infected mosquitoes was significantly higher than villages that free from dengue-infected mosquitoes. Indoor biting rate of Aedes aegypti was 14.87 times higher than outdoor, and biting times of 09.00-10.00, 10.00-11.00, 11.00-12.00 yielded 1.77, 1.46, 0.68mosquitoes/man-hour, respectively. These findings confirm environmental factors were related to Dengue infection in Thailand. Data obtained from this study will be useful for the prevention and control of the diseases.

Keywords: Environmental Factors, One Health, PCR, aedes aegypti, dengue virus

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1 Development of a One Health and Comparative Medicine Curriculum for Medical Students

Authors: Aliya Moreira, Blake Duffy, Sam Kosinski, Kate Heckman, Erika Steensma


Introduction: The One Health initiative promotes recognition of the interrelatedness between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. The field of comparative medicine studies the similarities and differences between humans and animals for the purpose of advancing medical sciences. Currently, medical school education is narrowly focused on human anatomy and physiology, but as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, a holistic understanding of health requires comprehension of the interconnection between health and the lived environment. To prepare future physicians for unique challenges from emerging zoonoses to climate change, medical students can benefit from exposure to and experience with One Health and Comparative Medicine content. Methods: In January 2020, an elective course for medical students on One Health and Comparative Medicine was created to provide medical students with the background knowledge necessary to understand the applicability of animal and environmental health in medical research and practice. The 2-week course was continued in January 2021, with didactic and experiential activities taking place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to student feedback, lectures were added to expand instructional content on zoonotic and wildlife diseases for the second iteration of the course. Other didactic sessions included interprofessional lectures from 20 physicians, veterinarians, public health professionals, and basic science researchers. The first two cohorts of students were surveyed regarding One Health and Comparative Medicine concepts at the beginning and conclusion of the course. Results: 16 medical students have completed the comparative medicine course thus far, with 87.5% (n=14) completing pre-and post-course evaluations. 100% of student respondents indicated little to no exposure to comparative medicine or One Health concepts during medical school. Following the course, 100% of students felt familiar or very familiar with comparative medicine and One Health concepts. To assess course efficacy, questions were evaluated on a five-point Likert scale. 100% agreed or strongly agreed that learning Comparative Medicine and One Health topics augmented their medical education. 100% agreed or strongly agreed that a course covering this content should be regularly offered to medical students. Conclusions: Data from the student evaluation surveys demonstrate that the Comparative Medicine course was successful in increasing medical student knowledge of Comparative Medicine and One Health. Results also suggest that interprofessional training in One Health and Comparative Medicine is applicable and useful for medical trainees. Future iterations of this course could capitalize on the inherently interdisciplinary nature of these topics by enrolling students from veterinary and public health schools into a longitudinal course. Such recruitment may increase the course’s value by offering multidisciplinary student teams the opportunity to conduct research projects, thereby strengthening both the individual learning experience as well as sparking future interprofessional research ventures. Overall, these efforts to educate medical students in One Health topics should be reproducible at other institutions, preparing more future physicians for the diverse challenges they will encounter in practice.

Keywords: Medical Education, One Health, Comparative Medicine, interprofessional instruction

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