Skip to main content

Global health security

New Content Item
(Image by Masum Ali from Pixabay).

Edited by
Ebere Okereke, Public Health England, UK
Ahmed Razavi, Public Health England, UK

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the biosecurity and biothreat landscape, opening the realisation that there are a number of gaps in biosafety and biosecurity surveillance and response capabilities. It also demonstrated the importance of international cooperation and collaboration in preventing capability failures that could undermine health security elsewhere. Improved international capabilities in surveillance and laboratory detection, especially in low-resource areas, is essential in reducing biological threats and in improving global biosafety and biosecurity.

It has always been accepted that another pandemic was a certainty sometime in the foreseeable future – but all the pandemic planning and surveillance had been predicated on that pandemic being a novel influenza virus, not a coronavirus with many major differences in transmission, pathogenicity and immunogenicity. This requires new approaches in pandemic planning to incorporate non-influenza-like pathogens with different patterns in transmission, pathogenesis and epidemiology.

Not all biological threats have to begin as a bioterrorism event, but as a natural transmission occurrence, although the end result may be an increased potential for such an event. All available evidence would suggest that a novel pandemic pathogen would most probably emerge from a cross-species event emanating from an animal reservoir, perhaps mediated through an intermediary host. This has been recognised by a number of laboratories, and also by some funding organizations, but has not been incorporated into pandemic planning or risk assessments. Two main actions to be taken:

Based on the research presented at the World One Health Conference 2020, this article collection published in One Health Outlook explores all aspects of Global Health Security, including the biosecurity and biothreat landscape. It particularly aims to address the needs to:

  • reassess pandemic planning to broaden the scope to other pathogenic agents,
  • include pathogen discovery and detection at the human-animal interface to understand the potential for future biological threats.

The collection includes research, reviews, short reports and commentaries exploring One Health science broadly, antimicrobial resistance, the interface between science and policy, and COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2  observations, relevant to Global Health Security.

  1. Following the principles outlined by the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s International Biosecurity and Prevention Forum, the European Commission’s Joint Resear...

    Authors: Caroline R. M. Kennedy, Yuri Bruinen de Bruin, Anne-Sophie Lequarré, Rebecca T. Ackerman, Jill Luster, Tiffany M. Tsang, Kari D. McInturff, Cassandra P. Carter and Richard Pilch
    Citation: One Health Outlook 2022 4:15
  2. The risk of spreading emerging and reemerging diseases has been increasing by the interactions of human – animal – ecosystems and increases account for more than one billion cases, a million deaths and caused ...

    Authors: Gashaw Adane Erkyihun, Fikru Regassa Gari, Bedaso Mammo Edao and Gezahegne Mamo Kassa
    Citation: One Health Outlook 2022 4:8
  3. Zoonotic diseases pose a significant threat to human, animal, and environmental health. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has endured a significant burden of zoonotic disease impacts. To a...

    Authors: Grace W. Goryoka, Virgil Kuassi Lokossou, Kate Varela, Nadia Oussayef, Bernard Kofi, Vivian Iwar and Casey Barton Behravesh
    Citation: One Health Outlook 2021 3:24
  4. While sustainability has become a universal precept in the development of global health security systems, supporting policies often lack mechanisms to drive policies into regular practice. ‘On-paper’ norms and...

    Authors: Stephanie Marie Norlock, Patrick W. Okanya, Anastasia Trataris, Michael E. Hildebrand, Jean de Dieu Baziki, Imane Belkourati and Maureen Ellis
    Citation: One Health Outlook 2021 3:20
  5. Biological threats are complex and multifaceted, as evidenced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Their effective prevention and countering require multiple lines of collaborative action and sustained cross-sect...

    Authors: Tatyana A. Novossiolova, Simon Whitby, Malcolm Dando and Graham S. Pearson
    Citation: One Health Outlook 2021 3:17
  6. Attacks using animal pathogens can have devastating socioeconomic, public health and national security consequences. The livestock sector has some inherent vulnerabilities which put it at risk to the deliberat...

    Authors: Gisela Vasconcelos Gioia, Gaël Lamielle, Ryan Aguanno, Ihab ElMasry, Béatrice Mouillé, Cristian De Battisti, Angélique Angot, Fanny Ewann, Adrien Sivignon, Daniel Donachie, Orr Rozov, Étienne Bonbon, Frédéric Poudevigne, Sophie VonDobschuetz, Ludovic Plée, Wantanee Kalpravidh…
    Citation: One Health Outlook 2021 3:14
  7. Nipah virus (NiV) infection causes encephalitis and has > 75% mortality rate, making it a WHO priority pathogen due to its pandemic potential. There have been NiV outbreak(s) in Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, an...

    Authors: Supaporn Wacharapluesadee, Siriporn Ghai, Prateep Duengkae, Pattarapol Manee-Orn, Weerapong Thanapongtharm, Abhinbhen W. Saraya, Sangchai Yingsakmongkon, Yutthana Joyjinda, Sanipa Suradhat, Weenassarin Ampoot, Bundit Nuansrichay, Thongchai Kaewpom, Rachod Tantilertcharoen, Apaporn Rodpan, Kachen Wongsathapornchai, Teerada Ponpinit…
    Citation: One Health Outlook 2021 3:12