Drawing inspiration from One Health surveillance initiatives

Thursday 28 Mar 19


Birgitte Helwigh
Senior Scientific Officer
National Food Institute
+45 40 21 19 62

A new catalogue describes experiences of collaboration across sectors in the surveillance of zoonotic bacteria from ten countries. This creates an opportunity for other countries to draw inspiration from these initiatives.

The health and wellbeing of humans, animals and our shared environment is best maintained by using a holistic, collaborative approach. It is not possible for a single discipline, sector or organization to tackle the challenges facing the world today—regardless of whether these challenges are caused e.g. by disease-causing bacteria, antimicrobial resistance or climate change.

The basic idea behind the One Health approach is that interdisciplinary cooperation involving all relevant sectors is paramount to combat zoonotic diseases and other multi-sector health issues e.g. illness caused by chemical contaminants.

The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, has vast experience in collaborating using the One Health approach—e.g. through collaborations on national surveillance and control of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance in animals, food and people. The institute draws on this experience when giving scientific advice, conducting research and teaching in order to promote health both nationally and globally.

Countries can inspire each other

Because of this expertise, the institute is a participant in a European Joint Program called ORION, which focuses on One Health. As part of the project, the institute has gathered experiences from different countries on how organizations and professionals from different sectors work together to monitor disease-causing microorganisms using a One Health approach.

These One Health initiatives are described in an idea catalogue, which may inspire other countries to integrate One Health into their surveillance of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance.

The catalogue also describes two Danish initiatives: One is the regular network meetings, which are attended by microbiologists, epidemiologists and authorities from different sectors, who all work on surveillance of foodborne, disease-causing microorganisms. The other is the DANMAP programme in which organizations and sectors work together to combine and interpret data on the use of antimicrobials in humans and animals in Denmark as well as the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance among bacteria in animals, humans and food, and to communicate these results.

Read more 

Download the catalogue from the National Food Institute’s website: One Health Integration in Surveillance – Inspiration and ideas.

The ORION project includes 13 participants from seven European countries. Find information about the aim of the project on ORION’s website.
18 OCTOBER 2021