One Health and Zoonoses: The Evolution of One Health and Incorporation of Zoonoses

Main Article Content

Govindaraj V. Asokan


Introduction: Zoonotic disease outbreaks have surged in the last two decades. These include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Hendra virus, Nipah virus, influenza viruses, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, and ebola. One Health is the initiative of an inclusive collaboration linking human, animal, and environmental health. One Health is advocated through an intersectoral coordination to combat zoonoses, and the term has evolved over centuries. The primary aim of this literature review was to examine the change in the definition of the term One Health over time, particuarly following the the introduction of the latest definition in 2007 by the American Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Methods: This review was conducted in four phases. The first phase consisted of a general PubMed search for the phrase “One Health” for every literature published up to December 2014. Then an advanced search was carried out using “One Health” in conjunction with the terms “zoonosis” and “zoonoses” in PubMed for the time period between January 2007 and December 2014.  The articles found were then categorized based on the type of journals in which the articles were published. For the second phase, “One Health” was searched as a Medical subject heading (MeSH) term, which is the National Library of Medicine controlled vocabulary thesaurus used for indexing articles. In the third phase, One Health advocate organizations were found using Google search engine. During the final phase, One Health was searched in Google scholar, examined by Google trends, and analyzed by Google ngram.

Results: Before 2007, One Health had many connotations to health in the medical literature with an incomplete adherence to the usage of One Health linking zoonoses. The Google trends analysis shows an overal steady increase of the search of One Health from 2007 to 2014, which is consistent with the findings of articles from Pubmed.

Discussion: Our results indicate that the linkage between the terms One Health and zoonoses started in 2007, which correlates with the joint declaration made by the American Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2007. We suggest creating a MeSH term for One Health in the PubMed database to support more specific research on zoonoses, and exploring the possibility of a patent of the term One Health to support global health and evidence based public health. 

Article Details

How to Cite
Asokan, G. V. (2015). One Health and Zoonoses: The Evolution of One Health and Incorporation of Zoonoses. Central Asian Journal of Global Health, 4(1).
Author Biography

Govindaraj V. Asokan, Public Health Program, College of Health Sciences, University of Bahrain, Manama


Head, Public Health Program

College of Health Sciences

University of Bahrain


Taylor LH, Latham SM, Woolhouse ME. Risk factors for human disease emergence. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2001;356(1411):983-989.

Wang LF, Crameri G. Emerging zoonotic viral diseases. Rev Sci Tech Off Int Epiz. 2014;33(2):569-581.

Li W, Wong SK, Fang L, et al. Animal origins of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus: Insight from ACE2-S-protein interactions. J Virol. 2006;80(9):4211-4219.

Epstein JH, Field HE, Luby S, Pulliam JR, Daszak P. Nipah virus: Impact, origins, and causes of emergence. Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2006;8(1):59-65.

World Health Organization. Avian influenza. 2014; Accessed June 25, 2015.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). 2015; Accessed June 25, 2015.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ebola (Ebola virus disease). 2015; Accessed June 25, 2015.

Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations. Thoughts of FAO on 'One Health'. 2012; Accessed June 9, 2015.

Cardiff RD, Ward JM, Barthold SW. 'One medicine---one pathology': are veterinary and human pathology prepared? Lab Invest. 2008;88(1):18-26.

Schwabe CW. Veterinary Medicine and Human Health. 3rd ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1984.

Saunders LZ. Virchow’s contributions to veterinary medicine: Celebrated then, forgotten now. Vet Pathol. 2000;37(3):199-207.

American Veterinary Medical Association. One Health - What is One Health? Accessed June 9, 2015.

Conrad PA, Mazet JA, Clifford D, Scott C, Wilkes M. Evolution of a transdisciplinary "One Medicine-One Health" approach to global health education at the University of California, Davis. Prev Vet Med. 2009;92(4):268-274.

Food and Agriculture Organization, Office of International Education, World Health Organization, UN System Influenza Coordination, UNICEF, WORLD bank. Contributing to One World, One Health: A strategic framework for reducing risks of infectious diseases at the animal-human-ecosystems interface. 2008; Accessed June 9, 2015.

World Organisation for Animal Health. One Health - One Health at at glance. 2015; Accessed June 9, 2015.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). History of One Health. 2015; Accessed June 9, 2015.

National Library of Medicine. Medical subject headings. 2014; Accessed May 14, 2014.

Google. Data source: Google trends. 2015; Accessed June 10, 2015.

Schmidt D, Heckendorf C. ngram: An n-gram Babbler. 2014; Accessed June 10, 2015.

One Health Global Network. What is One Health? 2015; Accessed June 10, 2015.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One Health in action. 2013; Accessed June 10, 2015.

Gibbs EP. Emerging zoonotic epidemics in the interconnected global community. Vet Rec. 2005;157(22):673-679.