What is One Health?

The One Health concept, as described by the American Veterinary Medical Association, is the integrative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment.

While the One Health terminology is reasonably new, the concept itself isn’t, it has long been recognised that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment. In more recent years the change in interactions between people, animals, and our environment has led to the emergence and re-emergence of many diseases.

Major opportunities exist to protect public health by improving diagnostics and public health interventions, thereby preventing and controlling pathogens.

One Health and Rapid Diagnostics

Abingdon Health contributes to the One Health community by serving each industry sector, healthcare, veterinary, agriculture, and environmental, developing and manufacturing rapid diagnostics tests to detect and monitor pathogens.

Zoonotic diseases represent 6 out of every 10 known infectious diseases, transmissible through direct contact with animals, from contaminated food or water, or via insects such as mosquitos or ticks. Abingdon Health has worked on diagnostic projects with a number of zoonotic diseases.

diagram explaining the one health initiativeThe World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), created a formal alliance in 2010 on the topic of One Health. Their principal activities are aimed at early detection of the emergence of animal and human diseases, for a rapid and targeted response to control disease outbreaks and prevent their spread worldwide.

Diagnostic tests are essential tools for confirming the health status of animals and identifying pathogens. Rapid testing at the point-of-care, the pen side, or in the field, is a useful component of the One Health system. Their ease of use means they can be performed in remote settings with minimal training requirements enabling early detection, management and control of animal diseases, including zoonosis, and facilitate the safe trade in animals and animal products.

In addition, rapid lateral flow assays can help to strengthen existing veterinary services, raise awareness on a disease, and can be employed for epidemiological or clinical studies.

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