Within the framework of One Health, the role of biodiversity and ecology of parasites in wildlife is being studied, though at the present time the current focus on surveillance and control strategies of infectious diseases does not follow a holistic approach. For example, some studies that investigated the epidemiology of infectious diseases barely examined the ecosystem as a whole. The interrelationships between humans, animals, and the parasite microbiome are not fully understood. One Health has a pivotal role to play, because of its fundamental principles that are inclusive of all aspects that can contribute to disease monitoring and control. One Health is defined as a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach to achieving optimal health of ecosystems, considering the interconnection between animals, plants, humans, and their environment. It considers that animals exist with humans in a diverse ecosystem that has varied environmental factors, such as nutrition, toxins, climate change, and infectious. A key aspect of One Health is fieldwork because it determines the extent of mitigation in terms of methods employed to control diseases and ensure optimal ecosystem health.
Understanding the life cycle of parasites is fundamental to the fieldwork approach because it provides an understanding of the biology as the parasite undergoes phases of transmission. It can inform researchers about appropriate fieldwork methods for management practices such as surveillance and disease control.
About One Health
In this and coming posts, you’ll see brief notes on the One Health approach, which acknowledges that population health is dependent on interactions between animal and human diseases.
Across our world, and here on Cape Cod, humans and animals interact with greater frequency and intimacy. This interaction offers the opportunity for the emergence and spread of disease agents (chemicals, pathogens, etc.) that could adversely impact animal health, human health, or both.
Experts are taking a multidisciplinary approach to address these questions.