Saf Health Work.  2012 Mar;3(1):77-83.

Emerging Zoonoses: the "One Health Approach"

  • 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Milan, S. Paolo Hospital Unit, International Centre for Rural Health, Milan, Italy.
  • 2Department of Animal Pathology, Hygiene and Veterinary Public Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.


Zoonoses represent a public health risk recently pointed out by the spreading of previously unknown human infectious diseases emerging from animal reservoirs such as severe acute respiratory syndrome and avian influenza caused by H5N1-virus. These outbreaks have shown that animal breeding activities can pose a significant public health risk. Until now, the risk of zoonoses has probably been underestimated, particularly in occupational settings. The emergence or re-emergence of bacterial (Mycobacterium bovis and Brucella spp) or viral (hepatitis E virus) infections shows that zoonoses should be considered as emerging risks in agricultural and animal breeding and should be addressed by specific preventive interventions. Close cooperation and interaction between veterinarians, occupational health physicians and public health operators is necessary, for a worldwide strategy to expand interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment. This is what the One Health Approach was intended to be.


Biological risk; Agriculture; Zoonoses; Emerging and reemerging zoonoses
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