US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology (2012) 365: 31–47 31 DOI: 10.1007/82_2012_259


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


The renewed interest in the concept of One Health has occurred as a result of the increased emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases over the past decade. The subsequent impacts of these diseases on human, livestock, and wildlife health, as well as the economic effects, have given international health organizations and national governments a greater appreciation of the importance of collaborative efforts in solving health problems. The One Health concept is not new, but under its umbrella, a new generation of veterinarians, physicians, ecologists, biologists, and social scientists is shaping the concept in novel ways. This has led to increased support for One Health initiatives to control disease by international agencies, national governments, and nongovernmental organizations as well as a growing emphasis on One Health concepts in training the veterinary workforce. Veterinary schools are reorganizing veterinary education to better teach students the precepts of One Health. This chapter explores the evolution and application of the One Health concept from the perspective of the veterinarian. The veterinary profession is positioned to be a strong advocate and leader of One Health. Veterinarians have a long history of involvement with One Health activities, and this involvement has adjusted and shifted with the changing needs of society. A new area of work for veterinarians is ecosystem health, which is becoming more relevant as a result of the impact that the ever-increasing human population is having on the environment that supports them.