World experts to tackle infectious disease threats


The concept of ‘One Health’ is a global strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for animals, humans and the environment.

The Chair of the Congress’ organising committee, Director of CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory Dr Martyn Jeggo, said the three-day conference provides a forum where the world’s best can debate issues critical to the fight against the threat of new diseases.

“Scientists have identified 75 per cent of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic – meaning they can spread from animals to people,” Dr Jeggo said.

“In recent years the world has witnessed the emergence of such diseases, including the SARS bird flu and Hendra virus. These events have heightened public awareness of the multidimensional linkages between wild animals, livestock production, the environment and global public health.

“Through cooperation and partnerships we can assist in predicting and responding to outbreaks with greater certainty and speed. This Congress and the ‘One Health’ strategy are important steps toward establishing a more unified approach to global health.

“The Congress also provides CSIRO and others in Australia with a unique opportunity to demonstrate expertise and capabilities, on a world scale, in biosecurity and all areas of One Health,” Dr Jeggo said.

Dr Jeggo will address delegates at various times during the Congress.  Other prominent speakers include: Nobel Prize Laureate, Professor Peter Doherty, Australia's Chief Medical Officer Professor Jim Bishop, World Health Organization (WHO) representative Dr Pierre Formenty and CSIRO’s Senior Research Dietitian Dr Manny Noakes.

CSIRO is an integral player within the One Health arena, with world class animal bioscience, environmental management, agricultural sustainability and climate change research.

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