The WSAVA One Health Committee (OHC) was established in 2010 with a Phase I project running until 2013 and a Phase II project running currently (2014–2016). This report reviews the activity of the OHC since the WSAVA Congress in Cape Town in September 2014.
The Current Composition and Areas of Expertise of the OHC
M. J. Day [UK, Chairman]
Pathology & Immunology
S. Cleaveland [UK]
Rabies & Wildlife
C. Khanna [USA]
M. Lappin [USA]
C. Barton Behravesh [USA]
CDC One Health and Rickettsiosis
U. Karkare [India]
Small Animal Practice
G. Takashima [USA]
Human-Companion Animal Bond
A. Thiermann [France]
Global One Health
W. Eward [USA]
DVM, MD: Comparative Research
WSAVA Board Liaison
Influenza, Pathology, Wildlife
The WSAVA OHC mission statement is: To ensure the prominence of the small companion animal-human interface in the global One Health agenda. The committee has three broad areas of activity: (1) the human-companion animal bond, (2) comparative clinical research, and (3) zoonotic infectious disease.
In the area of the human-companion animal bond, the OHC has recently published a review manuscript1 which examines the evidence base for the positive influences of pet ownership on human health overall, and specifically on the health of people with cancer, heart disease and the autism spectrum disorder. The committee is working on a parallel paper which will describe the importance of comparative clinical research.
The OHC continues to focus in the area of zoonotic infectious disease. The committee supports the Afya Serengeti project in Tanzania and the Mission Rabies Project in India. The latter project has now run two annual mass vaccination campaigns in India, which have involved vaccination of well over 100,000 dogs and been accompanied by a neutering programme and programmes for the education of schoolchildren. A series of surgical training courses for Indian veterinarians have been held from the Mission Rabies truck, which is the centrepiece of the programme. In the Goa area, over 20,000 dogs were vaccinated in a single intensive campaign period.
The OHC also supports the WSAVA Foundation's African Small Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN) Project, which was launched in April 2014. AFSCAN aims to improve practice standards, animal welfare and veterinary education in 13 African countries, with the ultimate aim of those countries being able to form national small animal associations to enable them to become full WSAVA members. The success of this project is already becoming apparent, with two partner countries preparing applications for WSAVA membership in 2015. AFSCAN has been pleased to support local rabies control initiatives, in particular the launch of the National Rabies Elimination Strategy in Kenya on World Rabies Day in 2014.
The OHC, through the Chairman, participated in a very successful National Rabies Stakeholder Forum in the Philippines, at which a target of 2016 was set for rabies elimination in that country.
The OHC has been a partner in the EU-funded CALLISTO project - a think tank on companion animal zoonotic diseases, which concluded in December 2014. Final outcomes from CALLISTO may be found on the dedicated website (www.callistoproject.eu) and will be published in a supplement issue of the Journal of Comparative Pathology. The recommendations from the project fall under five main categories: (1) demographics and tracing/movement of companion animals, (2) education and communication, (3) surveillance and infection control, (4) risk assessment, and (5) new tools for diagnosis, prevention and therapy.
Other One Health activities during this period included a presentation by the Chair during the global 'Who's Who in One Health' webinar organized by the U.S. One Health Commission. The Chair also participated in the 2015 global One Health webinar series organized as part of the activity of the Bayer Canine Vector Borne Diseases (CVBD) group.
In October 2014 the Chair spoke at a One Health Conference on antimicrobial resistance held at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. This unique event brought together experts from the veterinary and human medical communities and was widely publicized with written papers published subsequently in the European Journal of Companion Animal Practice.2
At this Congress, the OHC is presenting the fifth WSAVA Global One Health Award to Dr Nalinika Obeyesekere, the head of the Blue Paw Trust in Sri Lanka, which has run successful rabies control programmes in Colombo for many years. During the meeting the committee will also select the winner of the WSAVA One Health Poster/Abstract Prize.
The Committee has ensured that One Health is represented in WSAVA Congress programmes, with a half-day stream during this 2015 Congress in Bangkok and a full-day stream planned for the 2016 Congress in Columbia.
The next face-to-face meeting of the committee takes place in Indianapolis during June 2015.
Further information and publications from the One Health Committee may be found on the OHC webpages and the OHC Facebook page.
The work of the OHC would not be possible without the support of our sponsorship consortium, which includes Bayer Animal Health, Elanco, Hills Pet Nutrition, MSD Animal Health, Merial, Nestle Purina and Zoetis.
1. Takashima GK, Day MJ. Setting the One Health agenda and the human-companion animal bond. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014;11:11110–11120.
2. Day MJ. One Health: bringing together human and veterinary medicine. Eur J Comp Anim Pract. 2014;24:74–84.