From The Royal Society Publishing: From SARS to swine flu, and Ebola to Zika, a succession of disease outbreaks has spread alarm in an increasingly interconnected world. All the while, neglected diseases such as trypanosomiasis, brucellosis and Rift Valley fever have continued to devastate the lives of millions of vulnerable people in poorer parts of the world. The impacts of these diseases rarely make the headlines. There is though one thing many emerging and endemic diseases have in common: their origin in wild or domesticated animals. As such, both shine a spotlight on human-animal interactions, and raise important questions about the underlying environmental and socio-economic processes – including climate change, land-use change and urbanisation – which may be driving animal-to-human (zoonotic) disease transmission. The intersections of human, animal and ecosystem health lie at the heart of this issue.
With reference to case studies in Africa, this theme issue discusses the complex interactions at play, the social and political dimensions in which they exist and how modelling can help combine perspectives. Importantly, we interrogate the increasingly popular One Health movement which promotes an integrated, holistic approach to health. And we ask: has One Health really as much to offer in practice as it has in theoretical appeal?
This issue arose from a meeting held at the ZSL Institute for Zoology in March 2016.