8 July 2011

Health threats from animal-human interaction will be the focus of the “One Health” Symposium being hosted by The University of Queensland (UQ) today (8 July).

Speakers will provide an insight into current and emerging illnesses and the public health challenges these represent.

Topics will include the parasitic disease schistosomiasis in China, the emerging threat of leptospirosis following disasters and the challenges of canine parasitic zoonoses. Researchers will also discuss the need for building public health capacity and competency.

The event is a collaboration between the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, the Swiss Australian Academic Network (SAAN), UQ School of Population Health and its Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health, and is sponsored by the Swiss Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Dr Daniel Woker and UQ.

Head of UQ’s School of Population Health, Professor Alan Lopez, said greater awareness of the threat posed by human–animal diseases was needed worldwide.

“While these diseases are not currently recognised as a great health burden, their potential is catastrophic and their burden likely under measured,” Prof Lopez said.

“The research to be showcased at the symposium reflects the Schools’ preparatory approach to this public health issue.”

Prof Lopez said the symposium is a milestone of the SPH’s long-term collaborations with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and highlighted the School of Population Health’s membership with the SAAN network.

Researchers presenting at the symposium are:

Professor Marcel Tanner, (Director Swiss Tropical and Public
Health Institute,) – One Health: Key to Health Development?
Dr Li Yuesheng, (Queensland Institute of Medical Research) –
Schistosomiasis in China: Findings of One Health applications in the
Dr Vanessa Racloz (UQ School of Population Health) –
Leptospirosis: Emerging illnesses and disasters.
Mr Adnan Choudhury (UQ School of Population Health) – One
Health Economics: Challenges and utility.
Dr Rebecca Traub (UQ School of Veterinary Science) –
Addressing the challenges of canine parasitic zoonoses: Australian and
International perspective of a One Health approach.
Professor Maxine Whittaker (UQ School of Population Health) –
Building the One Health competency in the health and public health

Media inquiries: Marlene McKendry, m.mckendry@uq.edu.au, +61 401 996 847.