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One Health/Ecohealth

An opinion article on the fashionable concept of One Health/Ecohealth, drafted following the Days of forward plannings 2017 of the CNRS (NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH), was accepted in Frontiers in Veterinary Sciences.

Two researchers of Chrono-environnement were important contributors:Clémentine Fritsch and Patrick Giraudoux.

Their works in landscape ecology and ecohealth (in particular on ecology of alveolar echinococcosis and ecotoxicology) served as basis in a number of sections and of illustrations.

The One Health concept: 10 years old and a long road ahead


Over the past decade, a significant increase in the circulation of infectious agents has been observed. With the spread and emergence of epizootics, zoonoses and epidemics, the risks of pandemics has become more and more critical. Human and animal health has also been threatened by antimicrobial resistance, environmental pollution and the development of multifactorial and chronic diseases. This highlighted the increasing globalization of health risks and the importance of the human-animal-ecosystem interface in the evolution and emergence of pathogens. A better knowledge of causes and consequences of certain human activities, lifestyles and behaviors in ecosystems is crucial for a rigorous interpretation of disease dynamics and to drive public policies. As a global good, health security must be understood on a global scale and from a global and cross-cutting perspective, integrating human health, animal health, plant health, ecosystems health and biodiversity.

In this paper, we discuss how crucial it is to consider ecological, evolutionary and environmental sciences in understanding the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases and in facing the challenges of antimicrobial resistance. We also discuss the application of the “One Health” concept to non-communicable chronic diseases linked to exposure to multiple stresses, including toxic stress, and new lifestyles. Finally, we draw up a list of barriers that need removing and the ambitions that we must nurture for the effective application of the “One Health” concept. We conclude that the success of this One Health concept now requires breaking down the interdisciplinary barriers that still separate human and veterinary medicine from ecological, evolutionary and environmental sciences. The development of integrative approaches should be promoted by linking the study of factors underlying stress responses to their consequences on ecosystem functioning and evolution. This knowledge is required for the development of novel control strategies inspired by environmental mechanisms leading to desired equilibrium and dynamics in healthy ecosystems and must provide in the near future a framework for more integrated operational initiatives.

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