70% of emerging human diseases are of animal origin, that is, they are due to pathogens that have managed to make a ‘jump’ between different species. We have a very close example of this microbiological ‘pirouette’: the SARS-CoV-2which came from a bat and managed to quickly adapt to humans.
Unfortunately, Covid has not been and will not be the only threat of these characteristics that we will have to face. The risk of zoonosis Not only will it not decrease, but, in all likelihood, it will grow in the future, spurred by the climate emergency, globalization and phenomena such as deforestation.
The professor of Microbiology remembers him Ignatius Lopez-Gonithe doctor in Veterinary Medicine Elisa Pérez-Ramirez and the professor in Pharmacy Gorka Orive in Global Health (Ediciones B), a work in which the three experts explain the extent to which animal, human and environmental health are interconnected and emphasize that the way to face the challenges that zoonoses will pose in the future is to implement a strategy of global health – the so-called ‘one health’– that integrates the three aforementioned disciplines.
“Since the Covid pandemic there have been important advances. Above all at the institutional level, steps have been taken to achieve what we need, that human, animal and environmental health are interconnected, but there is still a long way to go to move from theory to practice,” points out Pérez-Ramírez, who gives a clear example of the benefits that are achieved with a ‘one health’ strategy.
“With the West Nile virus Surveillance is carried out on mosquitoes, birds and horses, for example in Doñana, where there is circulation of the virus. This surveillance allows for early warning because there is sufficient evidence that three weeks before outbreaks begin to appear in humans, warning signs can already be detected in animals. “These data would allow us to implement a series of prevention measures to reduce the risks to people.”