One Health theme

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One Health theme 


One Health is an approach that recognises that human health is closely connected to plant, animal and ecosystem health. The research theme One Health at WUR is organized around experts which belong to four core chair groups (Entomology, Genetics, Nematology, Virology), two additional contributing chair groups (Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, and Crop System Analysis) and individual researchers that are part of PE&RC. The members of the One Health research theme use their "disciplinary" knowledge and expertise to contribute to the theme as a whole and collaborate through specific One Health related research projects in partnership with other WUR groups and institutions in the Netherlands, the EU, and beyond.

The mission of the research theme One Health at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is to understand ecological, evolutionary, and molecular processes to improve the health of organisms and the environment they live in. Efforts across human societies have greatly increased living standards and conditions for humans while crucially intensifying agriculture across the globe.

However, intensification of agriculture along with the increase in global human population and urbanization has increased the health risks for humans, animals and plants, by increasing the emergence and spread of pests, pathogens and parasites. Climate change may give rise to metabolic disruptions and oxidative stress of individuals and decrease their resistance to different diseases. Furthermore, society experiences everyday consequences of global trade, monocultures, landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, non-selective pesticide use and rise in resistance to control measures (e.g. antimicrobial resistance), which all can have health consequences. Looking for the solutions for these societal challenges is the focus of many research projects at the One Health theme at WUR. The uniqueness of the One Health theme at WUR is in the embedding of health while embracing natural and agricultural ecosystem settings, directly linking human health with the health of the environment.

Collaboration and communication between experts from different fields in a holistic approach are key features of the One Health philosophy. The research theme One Health at PE&RC represents a joint effort, made possible by the exchange of ideas, people, facilities and data, via collaborations between researchers participating in PE&RC.  The members of the PE&RC contribute to the development of core ideas of health of living organisms and systems by using their state-of-the-art expertise in molecular biology, genetics, evolution, ecology and agriculture. They explore and investigate urgent problems, to find answers to related questions, and/or describe and analyse possible scenarios for solutions to contribute to promotion of health. By working locally, regionally, nationally, and globally, the aim is to retain and recover health for humans, animals, plants, and the environment at these different scales.