Symposium: animal-to-human diseases

Leading scientists, One Health practitioners and international policymakers are speaking this week at the One Health for the Real World: zoonoses, ecosystems and wellbeing symposium, co-organised by the STEPS-led Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium.

Bats, people and a complex web of disease transmission

By Kate Jones and Liam Brierley It might seem strange that after millennia of human history, outbreaks of new, ’emerging’ diseases that we’ve never seen before still regularly occur around the world, some of which go on to become pandemic. However, this may not be so surprising considering how quickly and how intensively the world…

How to prevent epidemics: an optimist’s blog

  “The optimist is someone who believes the future is uncertain.” Leo Szilard   When I first studied epidemiology several decades ago, a story made the rounds that was supposed to make us feel that we were smart. If an old man came into a medical clinic with diarrhoea, the doctor would treat it. If…

El Niño predictions signal urgent need to prepare for Rift Valley fever epidemics in eastern Africa

Recent climate predictions suggest East Africa may be in line for an epidemic of Rift Valley fever (RVF) – an infectious disease which can hit people, their livestock and livelihoods, and national economies hard.

What does systems thinking for rabies control mean for rabies research?

Rabies, in many ways, is an atypical zoonosis. It continues to feature as a priority disease by multiple national as well as international agencies. There is substantial research evidence regarding its burden and transmission dynamics as well as intervention efficacy. In addition, rabies is one of the few diseases for which well-structured and scientifically sound…

Hunger and HIV: have we misread the landscape?

Some of the most important questions we have concern large and extreme events of which we have little experience and few examples. We don’t learn nearly as much as we could from those examples: interrogate them as experiments-at-scale, look for variation in exposure and outcomes; test hypotheses against them. The number of people in the…

Ebola: identifying the true game-changers

Compared to this time last year, news about Ebola is hugely more encouraging. Although not over, the number of new cases per week tends to be in single figures instead of the hundreds. Out of the tragedy there have been some awe-inspiring achievements, such as the recent news that a vaccine had proven 100% effective…

More about the research

Although reliable numbers are hard to come by, Myanmar pig production is expected to grow rapidly over the coming decades. Livestock intensification This growth is being accompanied by an intensification of both pig production (the backyards and farms on which pigs are bred) and the pig supply-chain (the stages pigs pass through from farmer to…

Welcoming the medics to the One Health movement

The Ebola epidemic alerted many to the interconnectedness of human, animal and environmental health. The medical community has traditionally lagged behind animal health and ecosystem experts in embracing One Health, the predominant movement espousing this approach, but now a report from a Lancet and Rockefeller Foundation co-convened Commission on Planetary Health appears to do so enthusiastically…

Partners

The Myanmar Pig Partnership comprises a multidisciplinary team including vets, microbiologists and social anthropologists from across the UK, Myanmar and Vietnam. There are four partners: The University of Cambridge (lead) The STEPS Centre Myanmar Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department University of Oxford Clinical Research Unit, Vietnam There are also two official collaborating institutions: The Food…