The One Health concept is a rapidly expanding global strategy to enhance human, animal and environmental health from an interdisciplinary perspective. Health challenges impacting animals and our environment can have a significant effect on humans, as well. The pieces fit together like a puzzle, each element impacting the other in intricate ways.
Below you will find examples of work being done by the researchers in the Department of Comparative, Diagnostic and Population Medicine, to both identify these threats and find solutions for them.
The UF College of Veterinary Medicine is committed to this initiative. UF CVM Alumna Dr. Lisa Conti dedicated her career to One Health and her legacy lives on through the Lisa Conti One Health fund. Established in her honor, this fund continues her work and supports future research initiatives of our faculty and students. More information about Dr. Conti, and ways to join her in supporting research in One Health, can be found on the Lisa Conti One Health advancement page.
Health Threat: Viruses
Bat-borne viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, exist in the U.S. bat population. These viruses can present public health and wildlife disease risks. Exposure to bat-borne viruses may cause illnesses in humans, such as COVID-19. Dr. Andrew Allison does research in this area, making us better prepared to diagnose bat-borne virus infections, should they emerge into the human or domestic animal population.
Health Threat: Disease Conditions
Understanding diseases of wildlife, especially reptiles and amphibians, requires a thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of disease pathogenesis, pathogen biology, disease pathology, and molecular/cellular biology. Dr. Robert (Oz) Ossiboff approaches animal disease investigations from multiple angles in an attempt to completely characterize disease conditions as they relate to wildlife and, potentially, humans.
Health Threat: Illness in Food Animals
Salmonella causes illness and grows in various animal species, plants, protozoa, soil, and water. Outbreaks of Salmonella may result in food shortages, underscoring the interconnectedness of humans, animals, and the environment. Dr. Subhashinie Kariyawasam studies methods for improving food safety, including the development of a novel poultry Salmonella vaccine and diagnostic methodology to control foodborne salmonellosis.
Health Threat: Rat Lungworm (RLW)
Rat Lungworm is a nematode that is found in many areas of Florida. Its primary transmission occurs between mollusks (snails and slugs) and rats. Human infection with Rat Lungworm may result in gastrointestinal or central nervous system disease. The research of Dr. Heather Stockdale Walden will provide a greater knowledge base regarding potential hosts and transmission risks of Rat Lungworm.
Health Threat: Parasites
Parasites, such as the Roundworm, are hosted and transmitted by canines. When ingested by children, these parasites can result in permanent vision loss in children. Dr. Alice Lee's research focuses on potential drug or vaccine targets, resulting in reduced incidence of potential disease.