Emerging infectious disease, epidemic outbreaks, and antimicrobial resistance are urgent and critical threats to human health. The concept of One Health recognizes the fundamental dependence of human and animal health on the well-being of agricultural, industrial, and natural ecosystems. Microbes form hidden linkages that connect these ecosystems and shape the health of the people and animals that inhabit them. Researchers across the University of Illinois are coming together from biomedical sciences, anthropology, epidemiology, engineering, ecology, evolution, computer science, genomics, and microbiology to address infectious disease in the One Health context, making the University of Illinois a regional center for One Health research. Our symposium will highlight the collaborative interdisciplinary efforts of One Health researchers at the University of Illinois and foster the development of new research networks across campus.
This symposium will focus on two topics of importance to One Health.
1) Dynamics of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR): When the first antibacterial drugs were developed, medicine was changed so dramatically that many predicted the end of infectious diseases. The development of AMR, by evolutionary processes including gene movement through the microbiome, now has many in the medical professions fearing the return of untreatable diseases. This has been addressed by such programs as the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (see https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/). Many AMR genes are transferred between people, animals, and the environment, affecting the health of all three and making AMR the quintessential One Health issue. We will discuss the mechanisms of AMR spread, the pathways of AMR transmission, and the potential for AMR control under the One Health paradigm.
2) Emerging Infections in Changing Environments: In 2001, it was estimated that there were 196 known pathogens associated with emerging diseases, and that 60% of all human pathogens were multi-species. As environments change, due to changes in factors such as land use and climate, human exposure to new pathogens increases. As human behavior changes, with concentrated populations of humans and animals and increased global connectivity, the ability of these pathogens to spread also increases. The latest examples of this, the Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks, demonstrate the devastating consequences of emerging infections and the urgent need to increase the capacity to respond effectively to minimize harm and prevent future outbreaks. We will discuss environmental drivers of emerging infections and methods for predicting, preparing for, and responding to new infection threats.
Robert V. Tauxe, MD
- MPH Deputy Director, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
Stuart Reid, BVMS PhD DVM DipECVPH FRSE MRCVS
Tom Gillespie (’96)
- Associate Professor, Emory University