National Institute of One Health to focus on existing and new zoonotic agents

 National Institute of One Health to focus on existing and new zoonotic agents

Team L&M

A National Institute for One Health will soon be set up in Nagpur, Maharashtra. The foundation stone for it was laid down by PM Narendra Modi recently.

Issues such as emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, food security, biosafety and biosecurity are all associated with changes in land use, population growth, urbanisation, global travel and trade and climate change.

As a result, the trans-disciplinary approach among human, animal and environmental health disciplines has been gaining ground since quite some time. Studies have found that that more than half of all infections that people get, can be spread by animals. With increased interaction between humans and animals – domestic and wild, and influenced by climate change, human health can no longer be seen in isolation.

Considering all this, the National Institute for One Health is an important infrastructural milestone for the country.

The upcoming institute will focus on increasing preparedness and laboratory capabilities for identification of novel and unknown zoonotic agents. It will be equipped with the Bio Safety Level (BSL-IV) laboratory, which will help in investigation of outbreaks of emerging zoonotic agents concerned with public health and developing better control strategies.

It was the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) that decided to establish the National Institute of One Health sometime back. They also initiated two collaborative research projects, funded by the ICAR and ICMR, to conduct the epidemiological surveillance of selected zoonotic diseases in Central India.

With an aim to study the prevalence of 10 selected zoonotic diseases (throughout the country) and five trans-boundary animal diseases (mainly from northeast boundary states), the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology had launched a One Health Consortium in December last year. The objectives of this consortium include establishing a network of laboratories at centralised and field level, estimation of prevalence and burden of selected diseases, detection of pathogens by serological (antigen) or molecular tests, especially in clinical cases and modelling of data for disease forecasting as well as risk assessment. It has 27 organizations as its members while an amount of Rs 31.100884 crore was allocated to it for the first three years.


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