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The Value Of a One Health Approach For Mitigating Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Event Type: 
Seminar
Event Date: 
13 November 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Venue: 
ASE 3-D Visualization Lab (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: 
Dr. Maurizio Labbate, University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
About the speaker: 

Maurizio holds a Bsc (Hons) and PhD in Microbiology and has published approximately 50 documents including journal publications, book chapters, books and policy-related papers. He has attracted over AU$3 million dollars in external funding and leads a research group with core expertise in bacterial evolution with a strong focus on lateral gene transfer, the mechanism by which bacteria share genetic information. His research groups’ broad goal is to apply their core expertise in bacterial evolution to address One Health problems that straddle environmental, medical (e.g. antimicrobial resistance) and agricultural sciences (e.g. diseases affecting aquaculture).

Over the last 5 years, Maurizio has expanded his research activity to include One Health principles – a concept that recognises the links between human, animal and environmental systems in infectious disease and therefore, requires approaches to be multidisciplinary. As a result, he has led or participated in highly collaborative research that integrates expertise across multiple disciplines including microbiology (medical and environmental), eco-toxicology, microbial ecology, aquaculture, veterinary science, social sciences (including human geography) and decision-making, policy development and One Health governance. He has engaged with the Australian Federal Government unit responsible for Antimicrobial Resistance policy making in order to address explicit knowledge gaps they identified. In addition, he has engaged with the NSW Department of Primary Industries and associated oyster farmers to address infectious diseases affecting the industry. His capacity to work across the field of bacterial evolution and applied human/policy sciences provides him with a unique capacity to draw links between human behaviour and infectious disease problems and subsequently to generate effective policy responses, ensuring his research engages with end-users and has an impact.

Maurizio’s research in antimicrobial resistance is recognised nationally and internationally. He is an advisor on the board for Global Alliance for Infections in Surgery and was Rapporteur at the 2016 Australian Academy of Sciences Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank. He contributed a commentary to the AMR Control 2017 book alongside contributors such as the World Bank Group and The Federal Republic of German Ministry and engaged in public outreach including the publication of two articles in The Conversation on antibiotic resistance. He has been invited to be on the Scientific Advisory Committee and Local Organising Committee for Global Health Security 2019 in Sydney.

About the event: 

The One Health concept recognises that the health of humans is closely linked to the health of animals (wild and food-producing) and the wider environment (urban and natural). It a concept that aids in the understanding of how disease-causing microorganisms (pathogens) emerge and spread resulting in infectious outbreaks in not only humans but also animals and plants. The emergence of pathogens is complex and is often preceded by the convergence of numerous factors entitled the “perfect microbial storm” – these factors sit within or across one or more of the human, animal and environment domains. Due to the complexity of pathogen emergence, interventions require stakeholders across disciplines and sectors to work together in a multidisciplinary approach or a One Health approach. This teaching seminar will expose students to the concept of One Health and a One Health approach and will help them understand the complexity of infectious disease using three examples. It will prime students to look at infectious diseases through a One Health lens and help them develop skills in generating interventions that can be implemented not only after but prior to an infectious outbreak thus reducing the risk of them occurring in the first place.