The One Health Concept

Sarah J. Pitt, Alan Gunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of One Health has been developed as the appreciation that human health is intricately connected to those of other animals and the environment that they inhabit. In recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic and noticeable effects of climate change have encouraged national and international cooperation to apply One Health strategies to address key issues of health and welfare. The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals have established targets for health and wellbeing, clean water and sanitation, climate action, as well as sustainability in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The One Health Quadripartite comprises the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH—formerly OIE), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). There are six areas of focus which are Laboratory services, Control of zoonotic diseases, Neglected tropical diseases, Antimicrobial resistance, Food safety and Environmental health. This article discusses the concept of One Health by considering examples of infectious diseases and environmental issues under each of those six headings. Biomedical Scientists, Clinical Scientists and their colleagues working in diagnostic and research laboratories have a key role to play in applying the One Health approach to key areas of healthcare in the 21st Century.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12366
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Biomedical Science
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2024


  • neglected tropical diseases
  • One Health
  • laboratory services
  • zoonoses
  • antimicrobial resistance


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