Prof Dirk Pfeiffer,
Chair Professor of One Health,
School of Veterinary Medicine (One Health)
Continuing human population growth and urbanisation together with increasing globalisation of production, trade and human movement have resulted in rapidly evolving and ever more complex eco-social systems. The associated changes in human behaviour, biological factors and environmental conditions have resulted in the emergence of infectious diseases such as SARS, Nipah, Ebola, MERS, BSE, Zika and avian influenza. The ability to pro- or reactively deal with these disease challenges has been severely compromised by the single discipline nature of most research activities which has made it difficult to develop a sufficiently holistic understanding of interactions and feedback loops within these eco-social systems. The One Health approach aims to address this knowledge gap through interdisciplinary research that brings together human, animal and environmental health, as well as social sciences.