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Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2009 Nov-Dec;122(11-12):412-6.

[Research on zoonoses: central element of the "One Health" initiative].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Mikrobiologie und Tierseuchen, Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin.


The idea of "Comparative Medicine" was founded by distinguished scientists in the 1900s, in which context the name of Rudolf Ludwig Carl Virchow always comes into the limelight. This discipline was practiced thoroughly with the study of every infective disease transmitted naturally from vertebrates to man, namely the zoonoses. The following article will highlight the concept of "Comparative Medicine" with the example of tuberculosis research carried out during the second half of the 19th century. After the discipline took an interesting turn toward increasing specialization in the field, particularly after the Second World War, infection research in veterinary and human medicine developed and progressed in different directions. Since the 1990s, this development has contradicted the awareness, that a great number of diseases can be successfully combated through interdisciplinary efforts only, which has now led to the concept of "One health". In view of this, functional molecular epidemiology will play an invaluable role in the future in recognizing associations between host and pathogen-genotypes, particularly in research pertaining to emerging and re-emerging infections, which include the zoonoses. Zoonotic research is the crux of such a concept; hence, this article will portray some of the developments in Germany over the last few years, by virtue of which the "One health" dogma brings zoonotic research to life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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