Collaboration among people from multiple disciplines is key to the implementation of a One Health approach.

Surveillance for infectious diseases is one aspect of health systems where such collaboration is essential. The design and implementation of surveillance draw on many disciplines, including epidemiologists (to guide the collection and interpretation of surveillance data), virologists and laboratory diagnosticians (to develop and conduct tests), social scientists (to understanding the priorities, beliefs and behaviours of people) and information technologists (to harness the opportunities that modern technologies provide)…to name just a few.
An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic provides an example of One Health in action.

A paper recently published in the journal of Transboundary and Emerging Diseases and co-authored by Ausvet’s Jonathan Happold describes the outbreak from epidemiological and ethnographic perspectives. Drawing on knowledge from local people and several scientific domains, the paper suggests how surveillance for diseases such as avian influenza may be improved.