Group | One Health

The One Health group develops theoretical and methodological foundations for integrated human and animal health approaches. This has been summarized in the recently published book “One Health: The theory and practice of integrated health approaches”  and the first MOOC of Swiss TPH.  

Improving Human and Animal Health

We understand “One Health” as the added value of closer cooperation of human and animal health in terms of better health of humans and animals, financial savings and better environmental services. From a “One Health” ethical point of view animals should not suffer for the benefit of better human health. Thus we seek to improve human and animal health at the same time.

Our Approaches and Expertise

Our group develops integrated approaches to health in extended north-south research partnerships and transdisciplinary approaches, engaging academic and non-academic stakeholders in societal problem solving. We apply One Health methods to control zoonoses like rabies, brucellosis, echinococcosis, bovine tuberculosis and rift valley fever.

Jakob Zinsstag

Jakob Zinsstag, Professor, PhD, DVM

The lives of humans who are bitten by rabid animals, mainly dogs, can be saved by timely application of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). However, many patients do not have access to PEP and tens of thousands of people die from clinical rabies each year. Dog rabies could be eliminated by mass vaccination of dogs.

Mass Vaccination of Dogs

In partnership with the Centre de Support en Santé Internationale (CSSI) and the Institut de Recherches en Elevage  pour le développement (IRED), we are studying the dynamics of dog rabies elimination after mass vaccination applying meta-population, contact network and machine learning approaches in a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. We can show that over a specific time period, dog mass vaccination at high coverage combined with PEP is less costly than PEP alone. (Project No. 310030_160067).

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis at High Coverage

In another project funded by GAVI, we collaborate with Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoire (CSRS), the Laboratoire Central Vétérinaire in Mali and the above mentioned partners in Chad to estimate the burden of rabies in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Chad for planning of the provision of PEP at high coverage. Together with the Institut de Recherches Biomédicales (INRB) in Kinshasa, we have begun to study dog rabies in Matadi.

Maya healers preparing for a ceremony

Together with partners from Universidad del Valle, Guatemala, and the Maya Council of Peten, we are looking into syndromic surveillance of zoonoses in Mayan communities in Guatemala under an SNF-funded research for development project (r4d grant: IZ07Z0_160919 /1). Additionally, we study, together with the National Centre for Zoonotic Diseases (NCZD) in Ulaanbaatar, the epidemiology and control of Cystic Echinococcosis in Mongolia with funding from WHO-TDR.

Transmission Dynamics and Hybridization of Human and Animal Trematodes

The project investigates the population structure and transmission of Schistosoma and Fasciola species and their hybrids in Côte d'Ivoire using genetic methods (ddRAD sequencing, SNP analysis). The aim is to determine the exact species’ present, their relative frequencies, and the transmission networks between the various human and animal hosts.

Animal Assisted Therapy

Karin Hediger and her team examine the benefits of animal assisted therapy for patients with acquired brain-injuries in partnership with REHAB Basel and the faculty of psychology at University of Basel. At the same time her team studies the behavior of therapy animals to assess the animal’s welfare.

The Afrique One-African Science Partnership for Intervention Research Excellence (ASPIRE) continues from the consortium ‘Afrique One: Ecosystem and population health: expanding frontiers in health’ as a beneficiary of the Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science (DELTAS Africa) initiative.

Eliminating zoonotic diseases…

The focus of Afrique One-ASPIRE is on endemic zoonoses – diseases responsible for millions of cases of illnesses and several hundred thousand human deaths annually, considerable production losses and reduced food security worldwide.

…through capacity building in One Health

Building a world-leading pan-African research capacity in One Health science, the ASPIRE-programme has recruited more than 50 fellows (postdocs, PhD and MSc students).

…and a structured programme

  • 5 thematic research training programmes from intervention to disease elimination
  • training hubs and the Mas­sive Open access Online Courses
  • Research Governance, Manage­ment and Administration